One sunshiny Saturday morning my little blonde beefcake awoke and said “Mama, I wanna look at tidepools today.” How marvelous (and rare) it is to live in a place where we can wake up with this kind of spontaneous adventure in mind and that it’s totally plausible.
So we set out to find the perfect spot for tidepools and we end up at a location that I won’t disclose here.
My father’s ashes were spread here many moons ago. In fact, he passed away 9 years ago exactly to from this day of our adventure. I remembered on the day that we slipped his ashes into the sea that just beyond that spot to the right, was some friendly little tidepools that we could easily visit.
It is also close to MonkeyPod’s frothed maitais and this was ofcourse what closed the deal.
Tide pools to the right of daddy’s ashes.
But upon arrival I go right, Mathis goes left, insisting that we go over the steep and aggresive looking lava into the unseen on the left. Why or to where I had no idea. I tried to explain to him that there was not tide pools that way but that there were easily accessible ones >>this way>> but he looked at me and said “I’m going to take you somewhere beautiful, Mama.”
So ofcourse up and over the treacherous lava we go (Being a little dramatic here), and just around the bend was a tide pool paradise, all to ourselves. A delish, untouched stretch of white sand adjacent countless turquoise and gold toned tide pools frames by black lava. The ocean gently swayed in and out, shifting hundreds of tiny fishes between these little worlds.
What I love about lava and water is the way in which they shape eachother. The lava dictates water’s movement and halts momentum of this massive powerful force of nature, but also cups and collects just enough to hold fragile ecosystems within stilled waters. Meanwhile the water over time, shapes, sharpens and softens this sacred substance that frames our shorelines.
Perhaps Mathis and I are like lava and water. He has been challenging in some ways, and as a second time mother I’ve found myself shockingly hopeless at times with how to manage his temperament. I’ve been reshaped by frustrating moments but also beautiful ones, and I’ve learned to be softer, consistent, attentive, and that produces more positive change than abrupt, pushy parenting.
We sat there for hours. Lava rock and water. Probably two hour, which is a lot for a child’s attention span, in silence, watching the puddles in the rock turn into tiny worlds right before our eyes. Hermit crabs moving in all directions. Really fast fish escaping four year old fingers. Crabs appearing from no where and dashing away away just as fast.
And as he remained deeply concentrated on the happenings of tide pools, I spent two hours happily observing this amazing child’s wonderment and appreciation for oceanlife. Any talk was empathy, me for his curiosity and he for the feelings of tiny creatures who don’t want to be bothered too much.
Not only was this a practice in his attentiveness, it was so too for myself. Attention to my child and his interests; faith in his own voice and decisiveness and uninterrupted time with him in a wonderful place.
Sometimes lessons and experience exist only in magical places, not in the home, over the buzz of the tv. Truth is this place won’t look like this for long, by now the ocean has already risen and fallen a few times, bringing in sand and reshaping the shore little by little. Similar but different. But I’m that moment with us, perfection.