I’m sitting here in our living room after a Hawaiian vacation, sipping on a scotch (no more sugary drinks for me) while writing code for a demo next week as I head off to the east coast. It’s definitely back to the grind after a week in Maui. Iris and I came back early while Cherise went island hopping with Robyn to visit friends in Oahu. Before we returned to the mainland, Iris and I got to spend a special day together as just the two of us, sampling island fare at a restaurant that was way too fancy, buying roadside coconut to share, driving through windy, rainy roads, watching sea turtles on the beach, and just chatting about everything and nothing. And now, we are back and she is asleep, Cherise and Robyn are still in Hawaii, and Tiger Lily is still at her doggie hotel until I pick her up tomorrow. Alice In Chains Unplugged softly plays in the background, but I can’t seem to finish this code as my mind wanders to the week I just had.
I get pretty wrapped up in my work and often joke that I probably wouldn’t take any vacations if I didn’t have a family. I suppose I appreciation nature, but I appreciate the family more. Cherise and girls manage to keep me grounded and help me smell the flowers (literally, in some cases this week). As I was going through the week’s pictures yesterday, I kept looking at one of Iris and Cherise coming out of the water after paddleboarding.
Side-by-side, it was clear that, physically, Iris isn’t a kid any more–and the same goes for her, intellectually. She still has her moments (hell, I still have my moments), but she is clearly a young woman. We like doing Hawaii every other year, which means that the next time we’d do Hawaii, she’ll be comfortably (uncomfortably?) in her teens and in high school. But I don’t wonder where the time went. I remember every year vividly and every one has been a pleasure. I see the nuances that remain from when she was just a baby, and I also notice new behaviors that develop every week. Time passes and narratives change. 13 years ago, a pregnant Cherise and I went to a U2 concert, which we always defined as Iris’ first concert. Two weeks ago, Iris and I did a home karaoke duet of U2’s “Get Out Of Your Own Way”, a song she not only knows by heart, but also manages to mock my feeble little brain for not remembering all the lyrics. A part of me wants to freeze time and savor this. But the other part of me loves what’s up next. Watching her borrow more of Cherise’s clothes, take part in more adult conversations, find new passions, and hopefully, still able to enjoy an afternoon of touring around with her Dad, whether it’s Maui or Moraga. In the meantime, I’ll just stare at this picture and marvel at the amazing human being in this literal snapshot of a woman-in-making, and bask in the 13 years that changed me as much as her. And I’ll daydream of rainy afternoons of delicious coconuts and the smelling the flowers, not for my appreciation of nature as much as my appreciation of the course of nature and the joys of parenthood.