I have a lot of time on my hands to think right now. This sickness I have, makes me completely unreliable. I never know how I will feel on any give day, so I have what feels (oddly I suppose) real freedom for my brain. I have neurological issues, so I play a lot of scrabble, chess, and I write to keep my brain active. This time is a little peculiar as I navigate the unknowns of whatever it is that I have, and writing seems to keep me from being scared or other unhelpful tenancies that are part of who I am. But it allows me lots of time to snuggle the kids, read, daydream, and have a chance to really go down memory lane and revisit some of my life experiences. I have a good one for you today. You are welcome.
When Mike and I were waiting impatiently for Harper to hurry up and get to 9-months (we had had 2 difficult miscarriages prior to her), we decided to go to one of the Hawaiian islands we (or I) had never been to, the Island of Oahu. I had always wanted to see the North Shore after the movie "North Shore" starring Nia Peeples and Matt Adler, a movie about this kid from Arizona that grows up learning to surf on those wave generated theme parks. He wins a tournament, and decides to head to the North Shore to see if he really had what it takes to be a surfer. It has a most excellent script, here is an excerpt:
in I've always wanted a friend named Turtle. Anyways, I don't know how many of you know what it's like to travel with Mike, but he's not a "lay on the beach" kind of a girl. Many of you will be surprised to know that he hates sand. He loves exploring, seeing as much and learning as much as he can, and he makes everything FUN. As long as he doesn't have sand in his shoes. Even going to Home Depot is a hilarious adventure (stop eating the HD hotdogs! Nothing good ever comes from that!!).
So, we were on Oahu, and he had a bunch of special surprise things planned. We visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial, which I had always wanted to do (daughter of a history professor (who would always remind us each year of major historical anniversaries), and a niece to an admirable veteran), it was incredibly moving. We went to a luau at the Royal Hawaiian, this beautiful pink hotel that opened in 1927. A lady sitting at our table asked me about the pregnancy, and told me that when I felt the baby move, it would feel like bubbles. She was right. Another adventure he took me whale watching. But, the one thing we both really like to do is scuba dive, which we couldn't do because I was 5 months pregnant, and even though neither of us said it, I know we were a little bummed. Prime location to see good marine life.
One morning, we woke up and he told me to grab my bathing suit, rash guard and snorkel, and he drove us to the marina. He parked in front of a boat that said "OAHU SHARK CAGE DIVING". I was FREAKING OUT EXCITED. I was going to see sharks! I love seeing sharks, even from inside a cage. Our baby was going to be an adventure baby! So, I tried to look as un-pregnant as possible as they loaded us into the boat, with the usual rhetoric about life vests, motion sickness, not eating too much, etc. We were about 3 miles off the coast, so in really choppy water in the middle of the deep blue sea. There was this permanently installed shark cage that was cemented to the reef.
It was our turn, snorkels and Go-Pro in hand. There were black tips, white tips, but no hammerheads (my favorite) or tiger sharks. I took a deep breath with my mask on and settled at the bottom of the cage. Then, the most unexpected thing happened. Yes, there were sharks. But I could also hear these clicks, whistles, and pulsed calls. I realized I was hearing whales speaking to each other, across great distances. Something I had never heard before. I wondered, could Harper hear it too? I popped up and told Mike, and he went down and listened.
Then I started seeing all these little bits of particulate, like little bits of food. "Is that chum? Are they chumming for the sharks?" I asked Mike.
"No. Someone puked, and we are swimming in it."
I had never been pregnant while hearing whales singing while having vomit swirling all around me in a shark cage before. Definitely a moment that I will never be able to replicate. Don't worry, we got it on video, all the barf, with the whale sounds.
And, Harper is unafraid of sharks. Parents of the year.