I had to deliver a very Clark Griswold-esque speech to my daughter today. We were driving around the east side of Oahu, one of my favorite scenic spots on the island. (As you drive past Hanauma Bay, Halona blowhole, and Sandy Beach on the way to Makapuu, you’re right on the edge of these magnificent sea cliffs and crashing waves. It’s stunning.) I’ve lived in Hawaii for ten years now, and I’ve never stopped pinching myself. I’m still in complete awe at the ridiculousness of getting to live here. But for my four year old daughter, who was born here, it’s really all she knows. Anyway, the conversation went something like this:
-(Me, gasping at the splendor) Wow, look at this! Isn’t it beautiful!?!
-HEY. You should know how lucky you are to live here. It doesn’t look like this everywhere, you know. We live on a tropical island; one of the most beautiful places on Earth. People travel from all over the world to come see this place.
-Well, I don’t.
And that launched me into another spiel about not taking things for granted, appreciating what’s around you, yada yada yada. I could tell she was really taking what I said to heart – truly absorbing the wisdom from her respected elder – because she promptly swiped a toy away from her brother then launched into a few rounds of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Okay. She’s only four, and I need to be realistic. I don’t know many preschoolers who are beacons of appreciation and humble gratitude. And maybe I’m being a tad dramatic myself – she usually is excited and happy about these things, but happened to be in a cranky mood that day. But come on! There was another recent weekend when I announced we were all going to the beach, she whined in response, “The beach AGAIN?”
YES. THE BEACH AGAIN. Sometimes people ask if I get bored of the beach, living in Hawaii. The answer is no. No, clear blue water and crystal white sand and tropical breezes and swaying palm trees never get boring. But perhaps they do if you grow up with them and it’s all you know. When I first moved here, I remember several of my local friends saying “I can’t wait to get off this rock.” I thought they were insane. Insane! But will my children grow up to feel the same way?
^ This view to my kids, apparently: Oh sure, Mom. Yawn.
^Me, bestowing wisdom to the ingrates.