The day before the weather was rainy and windy and just unpredictable. We told the kids "we'll see" over and over. The weather didn't clear up and we did take them to the beach. We immediately assessed that it wasn't the right conditions to be at the beach and headed to the pool...in the rain and wind.
As we made the best of the beach-audible Nooriya and I played "catch the bracelet" underwater in the pool. There was a moment I saw her smile under the water through my goggles. I'm so lucky to have seen it so clearly. I'm so lucky to have noticed the one of probably many smiles in the moment I wasn't able to see or do or hear anything else while under water. I think about the attitude to make the best and the little it took to elicit that smile...just being there.
In contrast, the last 24 hours have been full of amazing experiences. They have been true vacation gold. We saw more stars than I can remember seeing last night. All the while we were in kayaks with glass bottoms seeing the amazing plankton in bio bay lighting up when the water moved. I couldn't stop looking at and admiring the water until I was distracted by the amazing sky...and then I was distracted by the water.
Zahra captures it way better than I do.
Today, I had the most idyllic beach experience I've ever had. The water was the perfect temperature, gentle, and crystal blue. The weather was perfect and we had a small stretch of beach on this hard-get-to island seemingly just to ourselves.
I hope these are the experiences Yusuf and Nooriya will remember forever. I will.
But as I reflect on the last couple days, I realize this may not be what the kids remember. This was an amazing experience, but it did require the kids to wait and be patient a LOT. And that's not the thing that comes naturally to them.
They complained and complained loudly, but they also made the best of it. Despite the what must have seemed like random instructions to wait and to "not do that" and the many "talks" I gave them about attitude and shukur, they sometimes figured out how to have a great time doing whatever with whatever they had.
I will remember the make-the-best-of-it attitude they made so clear to me. And I'm pretty sure they'll remember me being with them on vacation as much as the amazing experience we were able to give them this last day.
Thanks Nooriya for smiling so much and alhamdolillah for letting me see it so clearly.