Saturday, January 31, 2015

On a Thursday......

I woke up the same way each day while in Hawaii......
to the sounds of birds, no alarm, no crying baby.....just peaceful birds calling my name.
I spent much time outside in the early hours of the day, watching the sunrise and breathing in the clean air.

Today was Thursday.....
It was our third day on Parklen's Make-a-wish trip.....

We spent the first part of our day on the beach belonging to our resort......the beach enclosed the ocean fed lagoon which sat just moments away from our room.
The walk to the lagoon winds over bridges, paths and along the waters edge.
There are turtles swimming below as you stop to peer over the walls atop of each bridge.....
People walking hand in hand....children laughing....
many stop along the paths to take pictures.....a chance to capture the moment forever....

Once to the lagoon, we settled nicely in beneath the sunshine.
The kids went to work, splashing and digging.....
all but Phinlynn.....who always takes a while to make friends with sand....she does not like to be dirty....that one....

The lagoon is amazing for kids, it is made up of water from the ocean....which means it is filled with creatures....from, well...the ocean.  It is secluded from waves and shallow enough in most places for kids to enjoy!
 The boys worked on their snorkeling skills, while Phinlynn eased in, up to her ankles.  We played there almost the entire day......

Once back to the room, it was time to get ready for our next adventure.  We loaded up the car and headed our first luau.

First things first, we were greeted and given a shell necklace....
Because of Parklen's Make-a-wish status, we were treated like VIP's.
We were seated up front, close to the stage.

The evening began with music....and lots and lots of knowledge about the islands.
They held hula lessons and family crafts...
and a young Hawaiian girl came around to give us our tattoos for the evening...

It was such an amazing experience.
We learned about Hawaiian food, culture, traditions, and history.
We were fed,
we were serenaded.....the band even dedicated a song to Parklen....of the hundreds of people there, that made him feel pretty special.

The food was like nothing we had experienced before.....the boys had been talking about eating the pig for quite some time.  We were called to dish our plates and we filled them up, making sure to try it all.....because when in try Hawaiian food.  The tastes were new and our bellies were full.

After the meal, it was time for the show.
The Polynesian show.
It was dark by this time and the spotlight shined brightly up onto the stage.

They had different performances that represented each of the Polynesian islands.

As each set of dancers took the stage, all of our eyes were glued on their movements.
They told stories with their dance.
To say that we were intrigued, would be an understatement..

As the night began to wind down we watched as a muscular built gentleman walked out before the crowd, carrying with him a stick.  I looked across the table as Paysen sat up tall in his chair....he knew this was what he had been waiting for.  He had been talking about seeing a fire dancer since he found out we were going to Hawaii.  That man lit up the stage with his dancing companion...throwing fire and flames.....igniting his tongue.....spinning in circles.  His portion of the show was over far too soon and the boys wanted more.  The luau came to a close and as everyone began to clear out, I went to ask a member of the band if the fire dancer would be willing to meet the boys.  I knew it was a long shot, but you never know unless you try.

The man quickly came out from behind the stage and spent plenty of time with our boys.  He listened to their story about Paysen's life saving donation of bone marrow and he was moved to tears.  He showed them how to make grass necklaces, he went through the steps of how to become able to dance with fire....and reiterated the importance of practicing what you love everyday to become your best.  He had just danced for hours, he had poured sweat on that was late and I am sure that he would have loved to be on his way home. Instead, he took the time to make my boys night,

After quite some time, the boys said goodbye to their fire dancing friend.  The five of us walked away....the boys sporting their fresh grass necklaces, and smiles from ear to ear.

It was a quiet ride back to the hotel, it was late and we were beat.
Sleep came easy again for the Henderson's.
And with the final moments of the day we shared our thankfulness for all that we had been given.

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