Monday, May 25, 2009

My Mother's Day Tradition

I have a strange Mother's Day Tradition. Every year I try my hardest to get out of anything remotely related to mothering. I was raised in a home where this particular holiday was scary at best. The Saturday before we could already see that the next day was going to be a disaster. You could hear the ticking. Tick tick tick tick. The house wouldn't be clean, (tick tick) we kids would probably fight (tick tick) and hide one of our church shoes some place. One of use would break her obligatory sacrament meeting carnation. (tick tick) Or everything could go pretty good. (tick? tick?) It didn't matter. Mother's day was a day when Mom cried. BOOM!! Why? I don't know. What is even harder to explain is why I carried this tradition on into my own home. I'm terrible. I don't like my presents - even if it is a very thoughtful breast pump or vacuum. I'm mad when I have to make my own dinner. Don't EVEN get me started on breakfast in bed. Why would i want to eat cheerios in my bed with four kids climbing on me begging for bites? It's an unwinnable day for my family and so now as a special treat to myself, I try to be as far from my children as possible. 

I've done pretty good. I was in Arizona a few years back for Courtney's baptism, I was in France two years ago for a medical conference with Jaymeson, I was stuck penniless in Barcelona and London last year and this year I was supposed to be in Mexico. Stupid swine flu wrecked that. We had to cancel our cruise and I started panicking. What? Home for Mother's Day? No way. Jaymeson was relieved by the cancellation because it really was bad timing for him due to the fact that his boards are in a couple weeks. He decided to keep that week off work so he could study. That's when the wheels started turning. A free babysitter for a week (I conveniently didn't hear the part about the studying). Just for fun, I looked up flights to Hawaii. Sara lives there and said I could come visit whenever. Just for more fun, I booked a $350/RT flight and took her up on her offer.

I went to Hawaii ALONE FOR A WEEK. Best week ever. Not only did I cross the Pacific and got to a whole new place, I went back in time. I was in college again. A little older and frumpier, but oh so happy. Sara goes to BYU-Hawaii. We did all the things you're supposed to do in college: we broke into resorts to use their hot tub; we climbed up onto the roof of the apartment to watch the stars; we took silly pictures of ourselves with strangers on campus; we ate way too much and slept way too little. It was awesome. 

When I got there, the rental place's computers were down, so they gave me a Jeep. We became fast friends. We spent the week in the sun listening to music together. It played "all of Hawaii's best music- not just some of it." It didn't have ONE fruit snack in it. 

(this is us in the LOST trees)

I love Oahu. I felt like it was my home. I want to live there. The first morning I was upside down in time so I got up and went for a walk about 5am. I tried to find the beach but I found the temple instead.  It was Mother's Day and I was leaning up next to a palm tree at the temple in Hawaii watching the sun rise. There were hymns playing from a speaker at the base of the tree. The whole time I sat there, nobody patted my arm to get my attention so they could tell me that Mason was naked. Nobody asked me for a sippy full of milk. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! 

On Monday, we went snorkeling at Sharks' Cove and swimming at a beach that starts with a "W". Later we got Thai food and shave ice at Matsumoto's. It was delicious. I think I got Stwauva Gwaberry. I only had to buy one for myself. Nobody spilled. Luxury.

Then I went on a date with a guy who was only using me to get to my roommates. We ate raw salty fish with onions called poke. 

On Tuesday, we hiked and hiked and hiked and finally came to the path that was the beginning of the hike. We hiked some more and made it to Muanawilli (sp?) falls. That was BEAUTIFUL. And scary. Since I was in college again, we took this opportunity to be both brave and stupid. Sara and I climbed up the tallest cliff and after telling ourselves we could do hard (stupid) things, we clasped hands and jumped!! It was three times "where's the water!?" high or maybe about 50 feet? Higher? I'll tell you something else... come closer - it's a secret... when you jump off really high cliffs, keep your legs together. 

We ate some more, went to some beaches and made it home just in time for the night show at the PCC. Sara and Gina (you can pronounce her name so many fun ways in public places REALLY LOUD) work there, so I got in for super cheap. That was cool. Watching ladies shake and men burn themselves. We found out we could take pictures of us with the burn victims. That's when I realized my camera was gone. Sad. Embarrassing. Maybe we took some pictures of ourselves "college-style" in the jungle and we didn't really want people to see them? We must have left it at the beach when that wave crashed over us when we were sleeping. 

So we decided we'd go back and find it the next day after our adventures at the swap meet. Yes!! That was a happy place. Cheap t-shirts and dried mangoes as far as the eye could see. I bought matchy dresses for my girls and a cool carved bone necklace for us to represent our Ikaika-selves that jumped off that cliff. 

We journeyed on to Hanauma Bay. I had told Sara that all I really wanted out of the whole week was to see a turtle. (I have a turtle thing.) We were barely in the water when we found a big, beautiful sea turtle. He was pleased to meet us. He didn't care that we were there at all. We just followed him around and probably touched him. I can't say for sure because it's against the law. He beat out the Jeep as my new best friend.

(not my picture)

We went back to the beach where we had lost the camera and before I even said a word, the lifeguard said,"you lost your camera, right?" Hooray and dang. Hooray for the camera, dang that he had obviously seen the pictures. He didn't have said camera, but he gave me the # of the guy who did. We had to wait until the next day to call him. 

To fill the time, Phil took us surfing! I didn't do too bad, but I lack the upper body strength need to get that long board out past the waves over and over. I felt very wimpy. But happy that I stood up once and that I got to see the sunset sitting on a surfboard in Hawaii. Thanks, Phil.

Then Thursday happened. Let us never speak of it again. It was a bad day. We got the camera back from other lifeguards who had obviously also looked at the pictures but the batteries were missing and all the pictures were deleted. Even the ones of us spelling korean words with our bodies and some random koreans on the steps of the CAC. Sara and I were sad all that day. It was not the right day for me to leave. We knew it but were powerless to stop it. There were no turtles at Hanauma Bay. I had to drop Sara off at a bus station to get home while I got lost looking for the rental return place. When I got to the airport I was so sad. The lady at the counter told me my flight was delayed 4 hours and in typical shelby-in-college fashion, I started to cry. Stupid Thursday. Stupid leaving too soon. Luckily, grown-up Shelby reminded me that I do control my destiny a little. I walked back up to the counter and asked for a redo. This was a bad day. It was not the day I was supposed to leave. Could I stay another day and start over? She said,"You'd do that?? Oh that's great! That really helps us." Turns out the flight had been cancelled while I was crying and they were trying to get everyone on a 7am flight the next morning. So wish-granted, I left the airport to take a scary 3 hour bus ride back to Sara's.

My redo day was much better. We woke up early and got banana pancakes bigger than us. We went swimming again and then spent the rest of the day alone on a beautiful beach. We laid in 6 inches of warm water on sand-pillows. We laughed our heads off and made our plans for next time. When I got back to the airport that night I felt so much better and was ready to leave. It wasn't that I wanted to, but more that I felt I could. My battery-recharge was complete and I was ready and excited to face my real life again.

So, I have much thanks. I'm thankful for Sara (and Gina - pronounced so many wonderful ways) who let a frumpymomoffour live their life with them for a few days. They were more fun than I even thought they'd be. I was smiling and laughing the ENTIRE time I was there. They are so sweet and fun and happy and good. I love Sara. She's the best. When I met her a few years ago, it wasn't like meeting somebody new. It was more like,"Oh THERE you are! I've been looking for you." She makes me so happy. She also looks gorgeous with a mask and a snorkel. Who does that? She's so beautiful. Inside and out. Thank you so much, Sara. I miss you REALLY LOUD.

And then the other thanks. Thanks to Jaymeson for the best Mother's Day ever. Thanks for taking care of the kids while they wrestled in 12 bananas. Thanks for never complaining or acting like you resented me for leaving. I couldn't have had 1/100th the time I had if it weren't for your love and support. You are too good to me. You can be a jerk-nose for the rest of our life and still come out ahead because of this. I love you so much. Next time, come with me.



Shel, I have the same Mother's Day adventures at my house! Why do we have to cry? Nate asked me on Mother's Day, "Shouldn't you want to be the best mom you can be on Mother's Day?" I wanted to smack him! PS. I have also learned that you must keep your legs together when you jump off high cliffs!

Cheryl said...

and your arms down right? scott told me the gisela (sp?) cliff jumping story. anyway, i'm jealous! sounds like a fun trip although i'll admit that i'm way too reserved/shy/scared to do most of the stuff you did. when we went, melanie and i just watched the guys try the brainless, crazy life threatning stuff and we opted to lay by the pool.

you've had many wonderful mother's days though! your girls will most likely carry on that tradition too. mother's day is vacay time! i really need to convince scott that. i love how you really live life! keep it up.

Jennifer Nelson said...

That was a FUN read, Shelby. I really felt like I was right there with you (but that feeling doesn't quite satisfy me somehow). I'm thinking I need a Hawaiian vacation with my honey! And what a cool idea for mother's day! Why, in the past 18 YEARS have I never thought of it??? Oy.

Sam said...

I think if I knew someone that lived in Hawaii I would be packing my bags right now! And going by myself, what a brilliant idea! Glad you had a good mothers day!!

Anonymous said...

I also have a hard time with Mother's Day. Why should my Family feel like one day out of the year they can try to do nice things, and say thank you for all I do and I should feel like it means something? I HATE Mother's Day! I like your idea, maybe I would be appreciated more if I took some time for me more often.


Katie Price said...

Am I the only person in the world who likes Mother's Day???

And the only problem I have with this post is this: you are so NOT frumpy. You're hot.

Sara B said...

I laughed and cried REALLY LOUD in the library reading this. I love you Shelby. I miss you so much. Thank you for the best week I've had in Hawaii. You helped me forget all my worries and reminded me of how much I love this place. Good thing you're coming again soon because I can barely wait. YOU ARE NOT A FRUMPYMOMOFFOUR--you had poke with Phil, remember?
Next time Gyna and I will force you to climb 3,922 stairs straight up a mountain that supposedly leads you to heaven, make you listen to just some of Hawaii's hits, and then lay on the beach all day long eating coconut-fried ice cream. We'll laugh a little too. Deal? P.S.

Natalie said...

What a great read. You are such an amazing person. You effect people you don't even know with your talent for writing. I really admire you.
Sounds like this trip is exactly what you needed. I want to book a flight right now.

Darcie said...

Shelby, what a fabulous mothers' day! You deserved it!

I too don't care for mothers' day. it all started two years ago when ryan gave me his old cell phone for mothers' day. Yep, wrapped up his old phone. He had boughten himself a blackberry a couple weeks before and no longer needed his. what a thoughtful gift. and that is when i started hating mothers' day. And that was also my first. :)

Lexi said...

I started to read this and then was filled with (again) white hot rage.

I'd call you but I'm antisocial-

Do you still make the "hottest fetus" or whatever that was for TAMN? I want to get one for my friend but couldn't find it on her blog...

Jen said...

Fun! When I went to Hawaii it was an all girls trip too. It was my sister, sister-in-law, and my niece (who was 20 at the time). We had so much fun.

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