But nothing is ever easy with my kids or myself for that matter. JJ had some problems with his mask, and P swapped masks with him. Ours are pretty good (as in expensive even back then) and that made it better for JJ, but it took him a while to find the right fit. Understandable since our masks were fitted to us, so we might have to fork over good money for a better mask.
We have often extolled JJ's and SS's ability to really keep their cool during extraordinary situations, that P and I know would devastate us. We stand by our shameless gushing about their strength. When it comes to the scary, the traumatizing, the unknown, JJ and SS are pros. Then there is the small stuff, the stuff ordinary people would never think about twice, and that is the stuff that makes them flip their lids. In this case, it took JJ quite a while to live with the fact that if you stick your face in salty water, guess what, you are going to get salt in your mouth, eyes, and it won't feel good. I was afraid that he would give up altogether.
Initially P wanted me to go out with JJ and of course I balked at his suggestion. The neurotic in me wondered what I would do if JJ drowned. This is laughable because JJ was a very good swimmer by age 3. Since I was conditioned to fear water, I swore my kids would never be treated that way, and for once I kept my promise. Here is an embarrassing fact about me, except for JJ's bio father, all the men I dated were lifeguards. I swear, I had no clue about this until after I dated them, but it is a rather funny coincidence. P came in the water with us and had no choice but to bring SS in as well. There is no beach at Honolua, just rocks. Much to our surprise, our usually whinny, temperamental daughter decided that swimming was just fine. She is still not a fan of placing her head underwater when the ocean is involved. It is not fear, she keeps her head underwater at the pool so long it scares us, it is the salt that bothers her. Did I mention that we have freakishly weird kids?
Anyhoo, P held my hand until I came to my senses and realized no one was going to drown, loosened up and enjoyed the ride. SS picked up on the attitude change and although not fond of snorkeling yet, she was more than OK with riding on Baba's back. She then moved on to JJ and eventually became my personal barnacle. I usually cannot handle SS on my back in a pool, not even when she is wearing her PFD, but it worked really well today. I now understand why P likes it. For one, we knew exactly where she was, and second, it is about trust. What better way to work on building trust. Thanks to SS all four of us were together in the water. More important, we got to share an amazing experience with both JJ and SS.
I neglected to mention that my initial attitude (AKA dumb a$ fear) was perhaps influenced by an earlier blunder. We stopped at a place where P thought was the snorkeling area, although I was highly doubtful. We left SS and JJ in the car and walked over to look, and stupidly climbed over the railing at the vista point. Don't bother telling us how stupid that is, Grandpa already covered that. We saw a steep hike to our left and I did not recall such a thing, but what do I know. P decided to hike down to explore and I was going to return to the car. I was not looking when I lifted my right leg over the railing, and the next thing I felt was unbelievable pain and simultaneously heard a loud thump. I know it was loud because a woman standing a few feet away looked at me cringing. Classy lady that I am, a F*** flew out of my mouth, followed by me bending over holding my knee. My caring husband made the mistake of asking a very inopportune question, "Are you OK?" Never, ever ask someone bending over in pain that question. Once again my classy lady side came out in full force and I growled "NO, of course I'm NOT OK, thus the F*** part!" I later apologized profusely to P, and he sheepishly admitted that the sound was loud and scared him, so he had no idea what made him ask. I do know, we were both scared that I had really messed up my knee. I have had two surgeries on my left knee, my right one is all I got now. I mess that one up and it won't be pretty. By the time we made it to the water my knee was rather swollen and it did hurt. But although I am a world class coward, the one thing I do well is pain (but must be left alone), so off to use that stupid knee I went. It is still swollen and it still hurts like a sucker, but it will be OK. No vacation is ever complete without me hurting.
This is one of my fondest memories of our second snorkeling attempt here back then, what we dubbed the fish wall. All we had then was a disposable underwater camera and the pictures we took did not do it justice. This picture does not convey its beauty either, but it is a hell of an improvement.
Here's a real treat, the four of us in the water at the same time. We love SS's look, it's like she is thinking "they mean well, somebody's got to love them."
This is why it is great to have only three readers. Pictures like this could really give the wrong impression about our parenting skills and judgment.
Although I began our adventure whining like a toddler, by the end I was comfortable enough that I did not need P or JJ to be right next to us.
The reason why P is now hurting more than JJ and I. Although we spent only 90 minutes snorkeling, that is an eternity for a 3-year old. When she started whining we made a hasty retreat, and SS decided she wanted to swim back on Baba's front, because riding on a person's back was boring.
This is why for our family this beach is from now on known as Chicken Beach. SS was intrigued by the chickens and decided Honolua Bay just did not sound as good, so she changed the name.