Mother's Day special for Indialantic mom of four, including 10-year-old surfing twins
Spotting a cute, young woman headed to the ATM machine, Jaden McCart never thought he'd be changing the meaning of "grocery store checkout line."
"I came in shopping for groceries but I didn't know I was going to find a wife," said Jaden, recalling that day 20 years ago at the Melbourne Beach Publix. "The minute I laid my eyes on her ..."
Cristle was 15 heading to Sebastian River High; Jaden was 16 at Melbourne High. Somehow, love found its way among the asparagus, yogurt and soda pop.
Recently, the Indialantic couple celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary by eating baked goods for lunch in Cristle's classroom at Gemini Elementary in Melbourne Beach. She teaches first grade in the same room where shelearned her ABCs.
Now the mother of four is ready to spend Mother's Day with her all-American family, which includes 10-year-old twin surfers, Beckham and Daya, who already are stirring waves.
A model family? Perhaps.
"We definitely make mistakes, like we all do; we have to grow from those mistakes," Cristle said. "Being with someone for so long, through teenagers, we've relied on our faith in God and really working hard to get where we are today."
Jaden, 36, co-owner of McCart Insurance in Palm Bay, said: "She's the type of mom that puts her kids and family 100 percent first ... she's very passionate."
Their eldest daughter, Reese, 15, plays soccer and lacrosse at Melbourne Central Catholic, while her baby brother, 2-year-old Aris, is a bundle of fun playing in the sand at the beach.
But it's the twin surfing sensations, Beckham and his sister Daya, who have gotten plenty of notice lately.
Surfers get 'twin inspiration'
Toes in the sand, Cristle kept a close eye on her kids during the recent Eastern Surfing Association Regional contest at Paradise Beach in Indialantic, where Beckham and Daya were competing in the finals.
The fraternal twins, who often surf up in age class, have collected so many trophies that their father donates many of them back to the Gnarly Charley Surf Series, "where we all started."
Recently, Beckham took second place in two divisions at the National Scholastic Surfing Association East Coast Championships in New Smyrna Beach and placed third in the 12-under division at the ESA event.
Daya claimed double first places in the 12s and 14s for the entire season of ESA, won the 12-under NSSA, Open 10-under title and reached the 12-under ESA Regional finals.
They'll head to California for the nationals in June at Huntington Beach.
So, who's the better surfer?
"Me," Daya quickly said. "I have a better backside (surfing maneuver) and I am stronger."
"No. no, no, don't write that down," Beckham said, pointing at his chest. "Me, me, me."
The twins already have collected an assortment of sponsors, including world-famous Billabong clothing, a deal struck with the help of local company rep Scott Bouchard, a surfing star during his heyday.
"They're adorable; they wear the clothing and look good in it," Cristle said.
Posters, marquees, ads ... "hopefully, one day," she said.
"There's a Beckham in soccer, there's one in football, and now one in surfing," she said, laughing.
The twins were 3 years old when they first hopped on their dad's surfboard wanting to learn.
Jaden happens to be an accomplished surfer, who caught waves coast to coast as a youngster and remains among the top amateurs, winning the 2019 NSSA and ESA season crowns and is ranked second on the East Coast. His brother, Rylan, competed for years on the World Qualifying Series and now is the area director for Trinity Fitness Centers.
The twins also train with surfing legend John Holeman.
And mom? "I sit on the beach and look pretty," she said. "But I do love the ocean."
Beckham has gotten to surf with 11-time world champion Kelly Slater of Cocoa Beach, and he and his sister have gotten some "twin inspiration" when the world's most famous surfing twins, C.J. and Damien Hobgood of Satellite Beach, spent a day at their house watching an NBA game.
"Their dad's a classic (surfer), I grew up surfing with him," said C.J., the 2001 world champion who has surfed with Beckham at Sebastian Inlet. "The twins are so funny and they rip, too. That would be so cool for them both to make the tour, one on the female side and one on the men's."
Before that, though, there's reading, writing and arithmetic.
Beckham and Daya ride their bikes together to school and are in the same fourth-grade class at Indialantic Elementary. "We got each other's backs," Daya said.
While they share common traits, there are a couple of differences between the twins, who have even tricked their mom by dressing as each other.
"We're different," Beckham said. "My sister likes avocados and ... what are those red things called? Tomatoes! I don't like those."
Their only confrontation comes when they get back from the beach.
"Who gets in the hot shower first," Beckham said.
Pregnancy scare for mom
Cristle's pregnancy with the twins was a challenge for her and Jaden.
"I knew I was pregnant, but three months in, I got really sick," she said.
"I had a full OB exam, and they discovered that Beckham was hiding behind Daya in my womb, since twins share the same sac. So I knew I was having twins."
Her illness forced her to lie in a hospital bed at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, where Dr. Wesley Foster monitored her preeclampsia complications and blood pressure, which "was way too high."
"Sure enough, the twins arrived happy and healthy. And they're still giving me high blood pressure," Cristle said jokingly.
During those three months, Jaden naturally had to limit his surfing.
"I was like a single parent (with Reese, then 5)," Jaden said. "I never had to operate without (Cristle). I was definitely worried about her health and the babies' health. I had to adapt. Luckily, my parents live in Melbourne Beach and Cristle's parents live in Grant, and both were a great help. Cristle's mom is a great cook."
Cristle said she was concerned, as well.
"I kind of am the one that does everything, cooks, does mainly all the stuff," she said. "But he's really good with kids and this pretty much prepared him for our life today. With four kids, we have a lot going on, a lot of activities. I'm not here all the time, so it was a good learning experience.
"A lot of prayer and faith got us through."
Mother's Day is always special for the McCarts. A trip to mom's, dinner at a seafood restaurant with the family.
And who knows? Maybe a trip to the grocery store. Just to bring back some memories.
Contact Grossman at 321-242-3676 or email@example.com
Beckham and Daya's surfing sponsors
Catalyst surf shop
Camel Toe Wax Co.