I sat in the cockpit of our floating home, anchored a few hundred feet off the rocky shore in a remote anchorage on Santa Cruise Island. It was sunny, 80 degrees, wind was calm and the water deep blue and clear. The only sound was that of our girls playing in the water…the constant stream of their excited reports of what they were seeing…of their happiness. That sweet sound of two sisters laughing and playing together. A symphony to my heart.
It was Monday. I was not working, nor were they in school. In the background of my mind was this nagging voice, a mosquito that just won’t leave. “They need to get a least 4-hours of schooling in today”. “I am supposed to be teaching them Math”. “They are going to get behind in school”. “We are being irresponsible”. The march of should’s.
Today was just not the day. As a professional over achiever, workaholic and believer in our life is a result of the work we put into it, it is a challenge for me to not want our girls to be the same. I often forget that they are eleven and thirteen. Kids. The span of time in our lives to be kids is so short. Our thirteen-year-old Makena is stressed about a B in Math as it will impact her ability to become a Surgeon. Her dream. The dream of achievement can rob from their innocent years of being young and carefree.
What struck me on this Monday afternoon in Little Scorpion Anchorage was the sight of our girls having the opportunity to be kids. Two sisters playing in the water with little care in the world other than the fish they were swimming with and who was going to body surf the bigger wave. A slight feeling of sadness. I wish they were still four and six. Can I have the time back with them? When I look back on my own life, my memories are not made up of the thousands of hours of work, the studying I did, test, applications, resumes. Memories are fleeting moments that land without warning and are the treasures that make up life. A life lived with the simple goal of capturing as many amazing memories as possible can only result in a fulfilling life. I wish for them that years from now, when juggling the reality of their adult lives, our girls will remember this sun filled day spent playing and snorkeling in Little Scorpion Anchorage.
While I can’t pretend that I still don’t feel the pressure to bring our girls up to be productive, hardworking contributors to this world, on this particular day, I could not think of anything more important than just listing to them laugh the hours away. A brief moment that I hope will results in a beautiful memory for a lifetime. It certainly will be for me.