Last weekend the Hōkūleʻa came back home. The Hōkūleʻa is a Native Hawaiian sailing canoe navigated solely by using the stars. The Hōkūleʻa is part of the rebirth of Hawaiian culture and she has been on a voyage around the world and has been gone from the islands for three years. And she returned home a couple of weekends ago. To Ala Moana Beach Park to be exact. We planned to go down after she came in, a bit later in the afternoon (Uncle Jerry was playing in the early afternoon and we love to see him).
Our son. He is on the cusp of being a teenager. He will be 13 in December. And there are flashes of the puberty that is yet to come. He is a big fan on staying home alone. We go off shopping. Or go to church. Or go to a workout. And, I generally do not want to fight about it anymore. I generally, say okay, you want to stay home alone, well fine. Because the alternative involves me being really angry. Maybe yelling. Sometimes cursing. And, I am kind of over it. I know that some folks I know think that I should force him and maybe think that I let him win by letting him stay. But honestly, I just can’t, every time for every outing. There are some expectations but I pick and choose.
When my son said that he did not want to go down to the see the Hōkūleʻa, I gave in. I said okay. You stay at home and we will go. And we went. His dad and me. We walked down despite the fact that it was at least a million degrees out. I did not know what to expect but it was so much more. It was very crowded and the Hōkūleʻa is breathtaking in person. And there were so many people there to see her. To greet the crew. To be there. I was trying to describe what it felt like to be down there that day. I was saying that there was this overwhelming sense of cultural…..and the word, so close to being on my lips was filled in by LKY, my significant other, “pride”. A sense of cultural pride. You could feel it in the air. You could see it on the faces of the people who were there. You could hear it in the speakers. It was palpable.
There were a lot of performers scheduled and Olomana was the first to perform with Uncle Jerry. They only played like three or four songs. During the final number, someone got up to dance the hula. And then three more got up to do the same. Three people, who may have, or may have not known each other, getting up and dancing the same dance. Together.
And I knew that I had made a mistake by not making my son come with us. That I had let him stay home to avoid an argument and by doing so allowed him to miss such a significant event in Hawaiian history. And I knew that I had failed him. Because I want him to know who he is. I want him to know who he is. Where he came from. And I didn’t do that. And I regret it. From now on, I need to make better choices for my son. To make sure that the things that he opts out of are not important. For him. To become the person I know he can be.