Friday, October 2, 2009

Hiking Maunawilie's- a tribute to my mother

I wanted to write about an experience I had in Hawaii hiking Maunawillie's-Maunawillie's was muddy and Parker was super slow and struggling. I've realized that hikes beyond about a mile and a half are too much for this little guy. Spencer and I were frustrated, the mud was bad and my shoes weren't working well so I took them off. Parker then decided he wanted to go barefoot too. When we told him he couldn't, he threw a fit and we were at a standstill. It was a frustrating moment. I was frustrated that we were so slow, that Angie and Ajay were so far ahead of us, and that we were taking so freaking long. I had really wanted to hike Maunawillie's, it was one of the things I really had wanted to do and I was just frustrated that it wasn't working out. Finally we decided to have Spencer (who had never been there) take Ben ahead and finish the hike while Parker and I played in the stream below. It was a hard but growing thing for me, giving up something I wanted to do for my child. That still doesn't come as naturally to me as I always hope.

And I thought about my mom. I have thought about my mom a lot on this trip, recognizing her sacrifices and thinking about who she is, what she has given. After a few groups of people passed me and smiled sympathetically, I realized what I looked like. I was covered with mud from carrying Parker- from his muddy bum on my shoulders, my hair was a mess from lifting him over my head over and over again, my clothes were frumpy and I had on these old nasty, dirty reef booties. I looked the sight. I was also going about 1 mile an hour. And I thought about my mom. We always tease her for being such a slow hiker. We laugh at the story of her coming off the Na Pali coast looking like a homeless person, carrying her belongings in a garbage bag because her backpack rolled off the edge, covered in mud and wearing old tattered pajamas. And now here I was, THAT mom. I realized though in those moments, a few things I never completely understood before. I used to wonder why my mom was such a slow hiker, why her clothes didn't quite fit the fashion, and why she didn't seem to have much to show for herself. But now I know. Now I understand. As I become THAT mom, the muddy, slow one you smile at as you hike by, I realize she hikes slow because she got used to helping little feet climb over the rocks, learning patience to wait for little legs to come at their own pace. As I realize more and more how void of fashion I am, how I'm so "old school" (and not in a good way), I realize my mom doesn't know the trends because she was too busy clothing her children and getting dinner on the table. As I have less and less to "show" for myself, no glamours trips or big promotions, I realize my mom isn't always going places and doing huge amazing things because she has given all of that to her children. She has given her life. But I also see that in that giving, she has become something incredible in return. I watched my mom at the luau, when she got up to say a few things. I thought she looked so beautiful. Tan. Simple. Her moomoo on. Her sweet testimony penetrated my heart and her eyes sparkled. She has become something much more beautiful than anything I used to think was beautiful, because she has given. As I hung back with Parker, the frustration melted away and I realized letting go of “getting there” was really beautiful. Parker and I were able to find a passion fruit in the middle of the trail that all the other hikers trying to get to their destination missed. We put our feet in the river and the fish nibbled our toes. We found bamboo and walking sticks and learned how to cross streams on the big rocks. And I loved it. I didn't even miss going to Maunawillie's. Andy maybe just maybe I am starting to be a little bit like my mother, I hope so.