It occurred to me today that Slice of Life can actually be a slice of my life. I don’t have to write a significant poem or have a deep thought. I can just write about my little slice of today’s life.
We had a wonderful Maui day today with my mom. We sat on the beach reading for most of the morning – when we weren’t watching the horizon for whale’s blow holes. The sun finally came out around noon and we had to take a dip. My mom has been in Hawaii for almost 2 months and hasn’t yet been in the ocean. There are some good reasons for that though. She is 81. That alone is pretty good reason enough. Add that she had neck surgery in December and has still been healing from that and not many of her 80 year old friends can get in the water with her as we have forbid her to ever swim alone in the ocean and it isn’t as bad as it sounds.
So we got her in the water today. She was hilarious! The waves were pretty sizable, the kind that crash straight down where the beach drop off starts. The waves were coming pretty much straight in and were definitely strong enough to knock her over if we weren’t careful. Mom was nervous about going in but also giddy. She was reminding me of a trip to Mexico about 8 years ago when we taught her how to boogied board. It took awhile to convince her that she could try it and after she got the hang of it, we had to force her to share the board with our 12 year old son as she was having so much fun she didn’t want to stop.
So we watched and waited for a good break in the waves and then quickly made for the deeper water. We safely got out past the break, in about 8 feet of water, at which point my mom started squealing, “I can’t touch! I can’t touch!” My daughter laughed back at her, “That’s why we call it swimming! You have to swim!” I am trying not to laugh too hard while I hold her up until she gets her swimming legs back. She has always been a good swimmer but just hasn’t for the last year or so. She got to treading water and I could let go and she loved it!
Trying to get her back in to the beach took all the strength I had. We had to time it between the waves again so she didn’t get hit from behind once she got her feet under her. I was swimming as hard as I could, pushing her toward the shore, watching behind me and honestly getting a little nervous. But we got her out safely. And she stood there, dripping wet and grinning from ear to ear. She’s amazing.
We ended the day by walking out an old jeep road to some tide pools on the north side of the island. It was no easy stroll especially given that we were all wearing flip-flops. We worked our way out to the edge of the lava cliffs to sit. We watched several groups of whales swim by hoping for a wave or a breach. The waves crashing into the cliffs were forcible dramatic. And a rainbow was the final bow on the box. As we sat there, I told Mom that there were a select few humans who had ever sat where were sitting just then. And I was quite sure that there were fewer than 10 humans who were over 80 years old that had been there.
She is walking with a little bit more of a pronounced limp from her crabby knee tonight. But she is far from crabby. She is glowing. I am so glad I get to share slices of life with her.