When we lived in Brooklyn, after much fighting and all that, it felt strained between us. It wasn’t my doing, but it felt like it was my job to figure out how to make it right. I carried that task (so much so my therapist called me on it within a month or two of meeting me). I really did feel like getting away from our environment would calm things down so that we could really talk and address things. From there we can figure out how to move forward in the best way. I begged. I begged for a vacation. He said the money could be spent somewhere else on something more important. I begged. Things started to fester around this point.
Not too soon after we’re living in Queens, things settled. There was more calm than dysfunction. (This is how we got to this point today- that calm). I did still feel like some time away would do us all so good. We could also take Mason and expose him to new things.I asked if we could go away and he didn’t give me any push back. I wasn’t yelled at or made to feel like my request was stupid or would have to come secondary to something else. He just said okay and within the hour I found a groupon and we were going to Hawaii.
The moment we stepped outside of the airport, I felt so wide open. Honolulu is one of the most beautiful things my eyes have ever been blessed to see. It is such a beautiful place. I was so happy in Hawaii. The water was very close to our hotel. We could see the ocean quite clearly and there was a huge ka-cay-no (that’s how the kid said volcano). There was just so much to see and smell. I felt so light in Hawaii. For the most part, there wasn’t much conflict. I was relieved because I really didn’t want anything to ruin this lightness that I felt. Even if we were having these ugly fights that no one really wanted to address, at least we both seemed to be committed to keeping the façade intact. This felt like an unspoken agreement.
One of the main things I said that I wanted to do was see the “Jurassic Park trail” (Manoa Falls). It was seriously something that I wanted to do because Jurassic Park is just one of those things for me. I felt that I had to say it jokingly so that I was prepared to receive the inevitable comment that made me feel silly for saying something. I convinced him to hike the Manoa Falls Trail. I was so excited. I had never done anything like this and my son was experiencing it too.
We started to hike the trail and Mas started to get cranky. At this time he is mostly non-verbal. He and I can usually communicate somewhat but there’s usually a lot of guessing. He can understand me but I can’t always understand him. We continue on. Shortly up the trail his father gets short. He’s getting frustrated that the kid whining and he doesn’t know why and blah blah. I remember that I started to feel upset in my chest. This was something that was very important to me. He was not able to practice patience or self-control, he made a point to create a moment that shifts the light. Mason started crying and he was struggling to keep up. We were hiking uphill, afterall. I picked him up and I carried my son up this trail to the top where the waterfall was.
He’s whining, he’s getting more frustrated and saying things, my chest is tighter. When we reach the top, I put the kid down so he can look around. I took a deep breath (because a bitch just hike uphill with a damn person on her back and she is no athlete). When my heart rate started to settle, I just started crying quietly. My chest heaving, my eyes squinched up tight and my back to him. I didn’t want him to know that I was crying. He said something like “we at the waterfall. Ain’t you gon’ go look at it?”. I wiped my face and I took my pictures. Enough time for the puffiness to go down some.
I came back and I shot him (I really wish I could show you the face in this picture). I asked him to shoot me.
Yay. I’m at my waterfall. Woo.
He carries him down the hill.
He’s talking to me like none of that happened. It’s just business as usual.
(We later found out that the kid’s behavior was because he had a very bad BAD stomach ache that almost made it’s way down my neck and back but praise god it did not)
Yeah. Hawaii was important. Such a calming and restorative place to me. I respected what I saw and where I was, it was truly a place that made me feel very in tune. I knew where I saw light and I knew where darkness was.
I had a severe panic attack in the airport on the return.
I knew where I saw light.
I knew where darkness was.
But yes. These gorgeous photos, so many gorgeous photos.
They all look so different now.