I have a new essay up on Full Grown People today about my mom and the crazy adventure she took us on in Hawaii. As a supplement to the story, I thought it’d be fun to share some pictures from our family vacation.
First is the picture up top from when we did a self-guided tour through this old Hawaiian palace. My mom couldn’t figure out how to work the iPod, and I doubted she could understand the English being spoken so quickly, so from time to time, I’d provide a quick summary of what I’d learned. “This is the room where they locked up the princess for months. She made this quilt.” “This painting is from a Frenchman.” “Her bed looks really small, but it’s actually the size of a standard twin.” Her very good questions of why the princess was removed from power or why she was locked in a room in her own palace for months went unanswered. I can only guess what my mom must think of my auditory-learning skills.
When we got back home, and we were all missing that beautiful island, my mom told my dad that he should spread her ashes in Waikiki if she should die before him. He said, “Now look here, no one’s dying before or after anyone. There’s only dying together.” My mom called right after to tell me, whereupon we both had a good laugh. Neither of us mentioned how it melted our hearts. We have that in common, my mom and I: We acknowledge sweet things, sad things and scary things alike by making jokes of them.
My mom is the boldest person I know. She can soak in the ocean for hours and hours. When we arrive at a new place, she says “Look at all the people” in a voice so convincing you can’t help but feel a similar state of wonder. She tells me sometimes that I look like a movie star. When I have children, I shall tell them the same.