At Waikiki beach there were so many faces, so much going on. People surfing, throwing themselves off of jettis, riding waves into shore on their bellies, trying to catch the tropical fish along the shoreline rocks, swimming, tanning, reading, building sand castles, showcasing themselves. There was even a young woman standing knee deep in the water taking selfie after selfie after selfie … ad nauseum.
The sun is hot, the water is cool, the beach is crowded. My 14 year old son took his first surfing lesson on Waikiki beach this week with a guy who has to be the coolest man around – James of Make a Wish. James works with my sister granting wishes on Oahu via Make a Wish – a nonprofit that grants wishes to chronically ill kids. He’s a master surfer himself, and his job now-a-days is to grant surfing wishes … which he does – all the time. Apparently even for kids who aren’t sick.
He had my son up on the first wave after a short primer, and Tristan surfed for at least 40 minutes. Surfing with James. A total dream.
And then he took my nephew out for the same. Then my daughter and niece. He calibrates each lesson for each student, talking easily with all of the kids around him – the ones riding belly boards, the ones chasing fish. After hours of swimming, teaching, dragging kids into the waves, and surfing – on his day off- he shakes hands with folks on the beach, lifts his surfboards (2 – one for him, one for his student) and walks off with them, toward downtown Honolulu.