Monday, March 11, 2013

Family Firsts

Our kids have been on tons of family vacations, but usually just to places we can jump in the car and drive to.  This year we decided to take them to Oahu where our friends, the Skinners, were taking their kids during their spring break.  
Our kid's spring break isn't for another 2 weeks, but we decided to just go for it anyway.  The kids have been so excited and have had so many questions about what it would be like.  Their excitement has been contagious.  The anticipation of sharing with them a favorite place was making me almost giddy.   

My heart was full as I watched my kids at the airport.  They were being sweet to Brynne and laughing and joking with each other.  They were happy and I was grateful.
At one point Brynne climbed up onto my lap and earnestly said to me, "Mom you know, this is kind of a cool experience for me, because I don't remember ever going on a plane before." Yep definitely a cool experience.
After a two hour delay, she was thrilled to finally board the plane and buckle into her seat.  She looked like such a little lady sitting there with her legs crossed and so intently working on her new ipad mini, I had to take a quick picture.
Apparently the boys had all bet that I would take a picture of them before we took off because when I asked them to look over at me, they all cracked up laughing.  I guess I'm pretty predictable.
Something I wouldn't have predicted though was Brynne's nervousness.  Just as the planes engines roared to life she looked over at me from her window seat and said,"Actually mom, I think I would feel more comfortable if I was sitting between you and dad. Do you think we could trade seats?"  Of course we could.
Her reply when I asked what was making her so nervous, "Mom, we are going to be high above the ground. Higher than a ferris wheel. Higher than I have ever been before. Don't you think that's a little scary?" For sure.
The best though, was her expression once the plane lifted off the ground.  I just had to break the no electronics rule and get out my phone for a picture that she had no idea I was taking. The wonder and awe on her face was priceless.
Once she wasn't nervous any more she asked to have her picture taken with dad and then to have her window seat back.  You bet.
3 hours into the flight all three of the boys were konked out!  I couldn't blame them, our day had started at 5:30am!  
I tried so hard to get a shot of Brynnes face as we landed and she got her first glimpse of the island.  This was the best I could do.
As we were waiting for our luggage a sweet mom from our flight came up and asked if she could give Brynne this beautiful lei.  She had bought them for her whole family but her youngest wouldn't have anything to do with it and she could just tell Brynne would probably appreciate it.  She had no idea!  
Brynne was so excited to actually have a piece of luggage of her own that she insisted on rolling it along herself even though it weighed almost as much as she did and Drews hands were empty!
One of the questions the kids had asked the most about was exactly how far from the beach our hotel would be.  I showed them pictures before we came, but when they saw for themselves they were beyond happy with the arrangement.
We changed into swimsuits and headed out to the beach within minutes of arriving.  Just as we walked outside it started to rain.  It's stopped for only an hour or so since then, but the boys took advantage of one the dry spells and played some ball with the Skinner boys in the ocean.
A little, or a lot of rain wasn't about to ruin our parade.  We stayed out there until it got dark. 
After a yummy dinner that Mark and Carie had made for us, we were back out in the rain. We took a long slippery walk along the beach path and the kids enjoyed a little time in the hot tub.  While the weather wasn't anything like what any of the forecasters predicted, I think Hawaii is living up to all their expectations.  There is a magic in watching your kids experience things for a first time that makes it even more exciting than when it was your first time.  It's one of the many blessings of being a parent, and this week I will be doing a lot of that.  I couldn't be happier! 

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