Saturday, June 13, 2015

Of Haleakala and Hobbits

We thought it would be a good idea to take the kids yesterday up to the crater on top of Haleakala, Maui's volcano. It wasn't. We thought they'd be interested in seeing it and the surrounding views. They weren't. It wasn't fun. The kids moped, as the above picture captures. Mark kept reminding me: "Some day, the kids will look back on this and be glad they'd seen it." Hmmm. We learned: no more road trips of any kind while we're here.

We ate sandwiches when we got back to the condo. Mark and I thought it'd be a good idea to then take the kids to a beach in central Kihei where the waves are fairly gentle. We thought they'd like to boogie board there. They did - for about ten minutes. Then the complaints started. The waves weren't big enough. Levi and Annie bickered. Though the beach stretched for three hundred yards, they clumped together. I finally suggested that Levi stay on one side of Esther and Annie on the other. Then the bickering started about Annie not staying on her side. I momentarily considered slitting my wrists. We left the beach.

The rest of the day went in a better direction. Mark took Aaron and Esther to Big Beach and I stayed in the condo with Levi and Annie. It was quiet and relaxing (because they were in separate rooms). When the others got back, we had a nice dinner provided by Mother Kirkland (Costco). Then, mercifully, it was time to go to bed.

I realized yesterday that the kids are growing up. They have different interests. I had looked forward to one-on-one time with the kids on the beach during this trip. I had, for example, fantasized about sitting with Levi on the beach, building sand castles and talking. I've realized, however, that Levi would much rather spend time in the waves. The time for building sand castles has passed. 

A parent's fantasies about spending time with their children, I realized yesterday, are often just that - fantasies that have more to do with the parent than the child. I hadn't fantasized about sitting with Levi on the couch in the condo on a sunny afternoon watching The Hobbit. However, that's exactly what we did yesterday afternoon, and it was nice.

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