|Look at that smile!! :) PURE happiness and joy!|
The ocean heals my soul when I see that look of pure excitement!
Thanks to Emily Peat for this wonderful picture of Ashton
Surfers Healing 2011 in Virginia Beach, did not disappoint. It was a beautifully sunny, warm, light breezy day. Perfect weather for surfing!
|CFA sandwiches are a FAVE!|
We got there right as lunch was being served; Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches! The camp was running a little behind, trying to wait for the surfers and volunteers to catch a breath from the morning heat of surfing, plus allowing them time to eat and take a break. Plus, they were waiting for some better waves, as the waves petered out a bit in the afternoon.
Ashton's surf time was scheduled at 1pm, though he didn't go out until around 2:00 because of the delay. He was so excited, as he knew exactly what to expect! He was slightly disappointed that he didn't get to surf with his surfer from last year, Kalani Kahalioumi, but I think once he was out on the water, he didn't mind one bit! There weren't very many waves during Ashton's time out in the water, but he did get to ride a couple of smaller waves in. He greatly enjoyed just laying on the surfboard out on the water; what an extremely calming effect.
But, what excited me the most wasn't the way Ashton was in the water, it was how social Ashton was this year, in comparison to last year. I don't know if it was the vibe or energy of those around us, or if he's really just made that much progress, but wow, amazing. We had seen Kalani the night before at the Welcome Luau at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. He'd given Ashton a gift (a poster of himself surfing) and gave hugs, etc with a promise to "see you tomorrow!". I cannot tell you how many times I heard "Where's Kalani? Where's surfing? Where's Kalani? Where's surfing" the entire ride home and even afterwards. It was hard getting him wrangled into bed that night, but he went, begrudgingly.
Mahalo to all of the surfers who gave my son much aloha and many happy memories! We now can't wait until next year! Our entire family had a wonderful time watching the transformation of these kids in the water and I'm continuously amazed at how such a busy event can be run so smoothly.
Special thank you's to Izzy, Kalani, Pito and Tim ..... I can't remember the names of all the surfers we met yesterday but I greatly appreciate the time and effort you all make to help our children feel the love and acceptance that they so greatly deserve.
Here are a few pics from yesterday..... enjoy!
|Izzy Paskowitz (founder of Surfers Healing) and Ashton|
|Izzy grabbed his "cool man" sunglasses for another cute shot!|
|Getting suited up|
|Getting led over to his surfer w/ a volunteer|
|Ridin' a wave in with his surfer, Tim (look at that smile!)|
|Ridin' the second wave in....|
|Thank you Tim for your patience and kindness!|
|Ashton with last year's surfer, Kalani Kahalioumi - TY for the gift!|
|Gift from Kalani (trying to get a frame for it)|
Until next year,