Do you ever get a moment to catch your breath and find yourself asking, "What.... just happened"? This year I took on several new projects. Things reached a fever-pitch in the spring and left all of us with our heads spinning, feeling exhausted and a little bewildered. I'm learning what a hard thing it is to be a mother to my children and my dreams at the same time. But I firmly believe that my children deserve nothing less than a mother with dreams. And what good are dreams if you don't go after them, even when you sometimes feel like you're in over your head? Childhood is one big exercise in being in over your head, and I've learned something from watching my kids all these years. When they find themselves in deep water, they learn how to swim, fast.
Another thing I've learned is that it's okay to take a moment to float on your back and catch your breath. Preferably in Hawaii. Because here you can wake up at 6:30 in the morning to the sound of roosters crowing, cartoons blaring and kids sprawled on the couches, already begging to go to the beach. You can hide in your room until you feel ready to come out and engage. You can engage for five minutes, and then leave for a long*, sweaty run. After you come home with your head clear and your legs burning, you can head out to the beach or on a hike or some other adventure. And in the afternoon you can eat a giant acai bowl for lunch, swim in the pool rather than take a shower, and take all the time you want to call a friend, or write an email, or pretend to not be watching the Disney channel show that's on TV. You can eat an early** dinner, preferably seafood, preferably outside on the porch. You can tell yourself that everyone, including you, is going to bed early, but not really mean it. And then you can sleep under just a sheet, with the trade winds blowing through the open windows, until you wake up and do it all over again.
Tomorrow the girls and I are catching an early flight back to the mainland. I have the feeling of dread I always get when I have to leave part of my family, but I know it will be good for the boys to have some time to themselves here. They can go on crazy hard hikes, surf, eat whatever they want and sleep on the beach. And I'm excited to have some special time with the girls, and to see the marsh and the Atlantic ocean, which I haven't seen in over two years. And to eat shrimp and grits and spend time with my family and good friends.
Mahalo, Hawaii, for being the perfect place to catch my breath.
*My definition of a long run is 6 miles, and my definition of a short run is 5 miles. I'm flexible that way.
**My definition of an early dinner is 5:30 and my definition of a late dinner is 6, because, again, flexible.