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Tales from the Motherhood: Embracing age, letting go in the land of Aloha

Published: Friday, Aug. 9, 2013 3:48 p.m. CDT

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Though I enjoyed scuba diving the last time I tried it 19 years ago, when my son and I went on a dive (his first) during our family’s trip to Hawaii last week (we tagged along on Todd’s work trip to Honolulu), I couldn’t get my ear pressure right.

My face mask didn’t seal properly, either, so salt water got into my nose and stung my eyes. So annoying. And this time I didn’t feel like complying with the instructor’s “mind over matter” lecture and trust that the little bit o’ air I was getting through my regulator would be enough. Whatever. I guess I just like my deep yoga breathing.

Or, perhaps I’m just showing my age.

Yes, I’ve finally arrived at that point in my life where I really don’t worry too much about what other people might think. I’ve got nothing to prove. So what if I’m a scuba-flunkie?

If I’ve learned nothing else during my time on this planet, at least I’ve learned that if I wanna take a deep breath, by golly, I’m gonna take one. A nice, big, fat, sweet one, thank you very much.

So, when a voice in my head told me to not waste any more of Noah’s time with our instructor I happily bailed, waved a hearty good-bye to my firstborn, released the anchor rope we were both tethered to (no metaphors here, of course), ascended to the boat, shed that cumbersome equipment, freed myself from that god-awful wetsuit (ahhhh!) and simply snorkeled, instead.

And, oh, how I love to snorkel!

I encountered several schools of tropical, brightly colored fish of every imaginable stripe; swam alongside a half-dozen regal, mellow sea turtles (my new favorite creatures); and even spotted my son scuba-diving several feet below me.

(He had a ball. Says he even saw a shark. No idea what kind, but I guess it wasn’t the hungry kind!) But I was perfectly happy where I was, mere inches from the surface, and I’m not afraid to own it.

Yeah, my age really is showing. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Later that day, not one, but two different salespeople from two different skincare boutiques at our resort felt compelled to stop me in my tracks and save me from myself.

“You have beautiful skin,” one commented, “but you don’t get enough sleep. Look at those lines around your eyes!” I would, if I could find my new readers. But I digress.

“Do you ever use eye cream?” The other one asked, a few hours later, after she lured me to her chair and applied her magic potion to my sunburned crows feet. (I was too tired to resist. Because, you know, I don’t get enough sleep.)

“Um, not really,” I replied, recalling the free sample I got many years ago that I dab on my face maybe once a year, that otherwise collects dust on my bathroom windowsill. Hope in a bottle. It’s probably expired.

“You’re killing me!” she said.

I’m killing her? I liked her, actually, and we had a good laugh, but gee, there’s nothing as strong as shame to make a girl part with her cash.

No, I did not go all weak-in-the-knees for her potions or buy her crazy-expensive stuff. Not one drop. Because I’m showing my age.

Besides, I’m saving up for my next snorkeling adventure.

• Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Noah and Holly. Contact her at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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