I had the immense honor (once in a lifetime) to celebrate my son’s seventh birthday. It is such a precious time period. At this point we have these odd conversations where he shows that he knows more than I gave him credit for. Yet, at the same time, he is still a baby. My baby. I am determined to make each birthday special for him even if it takes money and time. I do this, clearly knowing that I do so because I never had real birthday celebrations growing up. I also do this trying to instill i him at a very early age a sense of curiosity and travel wanderlust. We have children because we want to pass something onto the future that reflects us, our being and our mindset. Well, that is partly what I have chosen to pass on.
Off to Hawaii we went. I have been to all the other islands before for both work and just grand personal adventures. Oahu is a mega tourist spot with great restaurants, Lava Flow drinks and sun. Maui is a gem where the road to Hana is inspirational. Kauai is a nature wonderwall. Just stunning and laid back. Now the big island of Hawaii, the land of volcanoes, is indeed completely different.
You go to the big island to escape. You go to discover and engage in a rebirth of sorts that parallels what the volcanoes represent. When we first asked my son whether he wanted to go to the national volcano park he was a bit scared. He worried about the lava. Would it be hot? Would it run over him? After all there had been a scary Scooby Doo Hawaii wiki-tiki monster. We explained that Maunaloa last erupted in 1984 and Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983 but it was slow, small and safe. It didn’t take much to convince my son. Sure enough, once he started climbing the rocks and walked through the steam vents and lava tube cave he was on a grand adventure we couldn’t pull him from.
The volcano park was one bit of the grand Hawaiian fun. We went on numerous outings to find small secluded beaches. The beaches on the big island can be quite rocky at times which can be a boy’s delight for a bit. Although, my boy likes his beaches quite sandy. There were black sand beaches and green sand beaches that can thrill a kid of any age.
What thrilled me, was that unlike Oahu, my cell phone signal was quite spotty on the big island which ended up being my saving grace. There had been a series of work emergencies that led to me getting about 100 emails and 50 text messages within a small period of time. The beauty of it all, while I still managed to be engaged in trying to resolve the issue, I couldn’t take any calls. Many of us know that even when we go on vacation, work doesn’t stay far behind. There is always a cell phone tower that can pinpoint your location. The phone beeps, the email messages roll in. Yet, the spotty cell phone coverage in those secluded beaches or on those lava rocks just were music to my ears as I did not have to hear the many pings coming in. That is my take home message. You truly want to escape work go to a volcano. It’s fiery, its a sense of rebirth and it expands the foundation upon which one stands. My son got to celebrate the beginning of a new year in his life. I got to hold a mai tai in my hand as opposed to holding up a phone to my ear.