After a few waves, I was like a fish and found my sea legs. I convinced Serena to swim to one of the 3 diving platforms around the bay and we slid down the blue slide, jumped from the side into the inner "swimming pool" and then dove off the back so that we could swim and touch the big yellow buoy at the far end of the swim area. As we swam back to shore, Emme waved to us and convinced us to swim back to the platform, then to the buoy, then across the bay to another diving platform closer to the beach in front of the Parte Vieja (Old Town).
Emme said the diving platform reminded her of the movie Mamma Mia! Serena kept saying, As long as I'm here, on a platform in the middle of the ocean in Spain, I may as well dive/jump/slide. Even I set aside a lifelong fear of sharks to just enjoy the moment, swimming alongside my kids to the buoy so that I could truly savor their exuberance, strength and stamina. For every unruly thought about Jaws, I calmed myself down with a deep breath and a new thought that life would not always be like this. The girls may not always coax and cajole me to accompany them on their adventures toward something new, scary and thrilling -- I may not be there to accompany them or they will find new friends and lovers who will be their first choice. But I made a discovery out there as I reached out to touch the yellow buoy: once-in-a-lifetime moments come along every second, if we can be open to them and allow them to carry us in their wake.
After we left the platform, we back-floated on the water, a tradition for the women on my side of the family, toes up, head pointing out to sea. With each wave that came upon us, I'd shout, Float it! and we'd quickly get into position, the three of us lying peacefully on our backs, bobbing along. Eventually, we could touch our feet to the sand again and caught some waves into shore. As I sat down on my towel, I lost sight of the girls and panicked for a moment. Then I spotted them, two little brunette heads bobbing on the waves and swimming toward the platform again, this time with Raf next to them and Marlowe, in her hot pink rash guard, on his back. It's too far for me, Marlowe had said earlier this morning. But the allure of the swimming platform, and the desire to just do it, obviously caught her off-guard, too.
We may not be back here again. It is like a motto in my head lately, a metaphor not for this trip or the physical geography that we're traveling but for the very moments of our lives together. We may not be back again.
We may as well float.