When I was three or four, my parents, my brother Marco, my two grandmothers and I traveled to Hawaii for a family holiday. We spent a lot of time at little beaches with one of my dad's old West Point/surfing buddies. Neither of them surfed much anymore; instead they seemed to like sitting on the beach for hours, drinking beer and telling stories about the old days. I remember picnic blankets spread on sand, my mom in a cute bathing suit, and my dad's mom in a mumu. My mom's mom was probably back at the hotel, resting her eyes.
I collected seashells, built sandcastles, waded. At one point, I turned and ran toward the surf, which was miniature, little wavelets lapping the shore. There was a small ditch about 10 feet into the water, which I found by falling into it. When I stood back up, I yelled "Jumping Jellyfish!" The sound of this phrase, coupled with the surprise of finding a perfect little ditch in the my-size surf thrilled me beyond measure. I ran to my mom and tried to communicate my happiness. She gave me a hug and a kiss and told me she loved me. Then I ran back toward the surf, toward the ditch. When I jumped into it and let the waves knock me over, I yelled "Jumping Jellyfish!" I did this over and over and over and over and over. I felt like I could go on doing it forever.