For Children

Rami Sigal

The Wave

2013 3rd-4th Grade Prose Winner

“Hold the video camera up straight.”  My grandfather’s hands looked strong and stiff wrapped around our tiny camera.

“Push the red button to start and stop the video,” My father explained.  

“Can you show me again?” Saba asked. I don’t think that Saba was paying particularly good attention to my father, or maybe technology was just too hard for him.  My father showed Saba how to use the video camera once again.  Saba finally said, “I think I got it now!”

All three of us waded into the water, until the tiny waves were playing with our ankles.  Saba stayed behind, his frame getting smaller and smaller as my father and I paddled deeper and deeper into the ocean. We swam to a spot where the waves were breaking right behind us.

“Here?” I asked my father.

“Right here.  Just be patient,” he answered.  I practiced standing up on the board by holding my dad’s head to keep my balance.   My father suggested, “Let me teach you how to paddle and stand up.”  I was lying on my belly, shivering on the surfboard because of the temperature of the water.   I seemed to be sinking into the wax that covered the surfboard and kept me from slipping while surfing. I felt the grainy feeling of sand on my stomach and legs.

“Paddle into the wave.  Paddle, paddle, paddle!!” my father yelled.  I pulled the water with my right arm while my left arm went over my head, hit the water and pulled.  I paddled for all I was worth.  I repeated this method until my father commanded, “Now, push up with your arms and stand on your feet.” I put my arms in plank position and did a pushup.  I jumped to my feet and spread my arms out like I was on a balance beam.  I imagined myself surfing on a huge wave.
“You’re surfing!!!” my dad exclaimed proudly.
A small wave came.  My dad pushed me into it.  I jerked back a little bit because of the force of my father’s push.  Suddenly, I was riding the wave.  I glided past Savta, my grandmother who was yelling, bursting with pride and love: “Mamalle shelley, yoffy, yoffy, mamalle shelley!” (My cutie, nice, nice, my cutie.)  I started to slow down, and the surfboard was tugged backward because the board fins scraped the wet sand and sharp shells on the ocean floor.

Saba caught me surfing on video, zooming in from the shallow parts where the water tickled his legs.  He seemed to be enjoying the water and video taping me surfing. I lay on my belly and paddled back to my father.   “I was surfing, I was really surfing!”  My insides were full of pride.

As I floated beside my dad, I looked behind me into the endless ocean.  Out of the blue, I saw a huge wave rolling toward us, eating smaller waves in its path.  I was too cold to shift out of the way, so I just lay on my board shivering.  “What am I going to do?  Should I jump off?  Should I swim to shore? Should I go over it? Should I go through it?” I panicked.  “There’s a monster wave coming,” I exclaimed.
“Hold on to the surfboard”, my dad said loudly.  

“Ok”, I replied.  I wrapped my fingers around the edge of the board as tightly as I could.  By now the wave was almost on top of us.  

My father swam in front of the surfboard and held it in place until the monster wave went over our heads.  The force of the water was so strong that it pushed me off the board and I rolled into the water.  I held my breath and opened my eyes.  As I was sinking, the water was swirling around me, cloudy with sand and bubbles.  This is what it must feel like to be a crab or a fish, getting tossed about.  My feet hit the ocean floor and I pushed up toward the surface until my head came out of the water.  I gasped for air.  Just as quickly as it came, the wave went by and crashed into the sand like a rock falling off a mountain hitting the ground.  After we caught our breath, my father said, as he spit water out of his mouth, “That was some wave."
I agreed, "Yes. That was some wave.”