Even before we had kids, my husband and I agreed that water and sun vacations were our preference. Both of us are swimmers, he was a college water polo player, and we love spending time at the beach and in the water. Therefore, when our son (also our firstborn) was old enough to let us know that he hated the water, we were shocked. What was this going to do to our beach vacations?
The first time we took our kids to Maui in 2004, it was almost a disaster - we spent the first 2/3 of our vacation alternating our time between short visits to the pool and longer excursions to the Maui Ocean Center, as our son would not even go near the real ocean or beach. On the second-to-last-day, we finally coaxed him to the sand area by Black Rock Point on Kaanapali Beach, with promises of ice cream treats and special afternoon videos. And by the last day of our vacation, we got him to sit on the edge of the beach and let the water hit his feet. Progress!
This summer's trip to Maui turned out much better, for two reasons - we had been working hard on swim lessons and water comfort over the last several years, and, our youngest child is a water baby. Since our son is so competitive with his sister, we used that to our advantage!
Our trip this time had a completely different feel and each day was a fun new water adventure for the kids. My daughter led the way with jumping and playing in the ocean; my son soon followed. Next up was learning to snorkel and when my daughter saw a turtle on our first trip out, my son had to one-up her by snorkeling all the way around Black Rock in Kaanapali. And when the kids decided they wanted to learn to boogie board, I was elated. I even promised my son that next time we come to Maui, he can take surf lessons. Hey, maybe we will learn together!