Many thanks for the wild ride. You and I have survived nearly 30 years together, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. For as long as I can remember, you’ve supported my faith in the universe and reminded me that anything is indeed possible. Because of you, I’m not afraid to admit what I want. Nor do I hesitate before chasing my dreams. Life is far too short for hesitation.
I suppose I could call you my super power. In fact, I like to think that I inherited you from my late grandfather because he was a true super hero of epic proportions. Raising a wild child like me was just one of his many accomplishments from a lifetime spent around the globe. I am comforted knowing that a part of him—the fearless, stubborn in the best-way-possible part—lives on in me.
You and I have been on quite the journey thus far. At 18 no one could stop me from moving to Manhattan. Between my university classes, my days and nights were filled with getting lost with strangers, jaywalking like a pro, and dancing until sunrise. Because of you, I was in the right place at the right time of my life.
At 19 I ran away to study abroad in Spain and fell in love. I embraced the slow pace of Spanish life. I experienced all of the places from my Spanish textbooks and novels—rode horses through the countryside, sun bathed in the plazas, and spent countless hours wandering around in the rain. Because of you, I understand the value of doing nothing at all and heading towards nowhere in particular.
At 21 I spent 17 days rafting along the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Every morning I woke up to float between mile-high walls, explore for hours, and fall asleep under an endless spread of shooting stars. Because of you, I will never underestimate the overwhelming power of the wilderness.
At 22 I became Ms. Mendoza, the 2nd grade teacher. I filled my classroom with countless books and maps of faraway places. I created an environment where children could make important discoveries about the world and their role in it. Some days I transformed into cultural icons such as Frida Kahlo; and on others, our class transformed into a rainforest covered with foliage and wildlife from floor to ceiling. Because of you, my students firmly believe that imagination knows no bounds.
At 23 I booked a last-minute flight to Europe. I backpacked down the Dalmation Coast solo then turned around and sailed back up with a friend. I’ll never forget being rocked to sleep by the sea each night only to wake up with a new island in sight. Because of you, I am convinced that some invitations simply cannot be turned down.
At 25 I married the man I fell in love with in Spain. We polished off a bottle of champagne before noon. There were flowers in my hair and cowboy boots on my feet. Seconds after they pronounced us husband and wife I jumped up and wrapped my arms and legs around him for our first kiss. Because of you, I tend to leap before I look.
26 and 28 brought me Kahlo and Tamayo. When I was laboring with Kahlo in the ambulance, sirens blaring and heart racing, you reminded me to breathe. Then when it was Tamayo’s turn, our effortless collaboration resulted in a beautiful (and unplanned) unassisted homebirth. These last few years, babes in tow, have been maddeningly wild in the best way possible. Because of you, I’ve found strength in places I never knew existed.
Now at 29, you’ve outdone yourself. I’ve traded in my classroom for a vintage trailer on Kaua’i, a 1960 “Lil Loafer” to be exact, from which my husband and I will be selling handcrafted shave ice. Our family needed a change, the universe answered, and as usual, you did your job. My days are long but filled with trucks and books, homemade syrups, and freshly cut tropical fruit. Better yet, the boys are learning how to navigate life with aloha. Because of you, our ohana is exactly where we need to be—growing up together on an island in the middle of the Pacific.
Thank you for 30 years of making magic together.
Love and Aloha,
Your Partner In Crime
-Written By Priscilla