As you know if you have been following my column for a long time you know the week of Christmas is the one time in the year that I don’t like to write about business. I always say there are 51 other weeks in the year to do that. Instead I like to write about stories of the human condition. Many of these stories come from my own experiences with my family and todays story is no different. You see my young children of 6 and 9 continue to teach their old Dad of 46 new lessons every day.
It was last Christmas when we were vacationing in Hawaii and as usual I was planning all kinds of activities for the kids. I had a schedule (this is my type A personality) for snorkeling, horseback riding, ATV’s, Mantra Ray diving and many more. We had done most of them and the weather was as usual picture perfect. Through the first three weeks there was not a drop of rain. Then when morning I woke up to an unfamiliar sound outside. Much to my surprise it was raining. Now you have to understand the area of the Big Island where we stay only gets 1-3 inches in an entire year so it’s very rare that it rains. Moreover when I looked out the window the storm was coming from the west, which is highly unusual. When rain comes from the west it’s not going to be a small storm or a short storm. No sooner did I realize that than it started to come down in sheets. My son Micah was the next to wake up and he joined me at the back screen door. Then my daughter Malia woke and there all three of us stood looking out the door in sheer amazement. It was like we had never seen rain before. When it rains in Hawaii the water creates flood quickly. It’s mostly lava underneath the grass and if rains too much to quickly the yards become swimming pool. I told the kids to go get their swimsuits on really fast. They asked why and protested at 8am in the morning, but I told them “don’t ask questions just do it.” My wife Jennifer helped everyone get out the door and as expected she had the video camera in her hands. Within minutes we were outside in torrential rain in our swimsuits playing football in the backyard. We slipped and skidded across the grass, got dirty, muddy, laughed and had a good ole time in the warm pouring rain of Hawaii. When we were done playing football it was still a downpour so I told the kids to race me to the pool, “we should go swimming in the rain.” They thought it would be too cold for that, but it was the exact opposite. The cool rain made the pool feel like a warm Jacuzzi. We swam and played in the pool for about another hour in the pouring rain. We had a fun time together.
To this day the kids the still talk about that day playing in the rain with Daddy in Hawaii. They don’t mention the expensive snorkel trip, the horseback riding or any of the other activities. I think I am like most people and have been trained to think I need to buy or do expensive things for my kids to show them I love them. They taught me they didn’t want the expensive things they just wanted me.
Merry Christmas to all of you and I pray you have the opportunity some day to play in rain with the ones you love.