"This is Hawaii. It’s a whaling ship, not a pirate ship," explained the Westin employee describing the thing of wonder – a fiberglass vessel complete with mast, rigging, and canons, perched right in the middle of the kiddie pool.
It didn’t matter. To my son, Caleb, it was indeed a pirate ship.
Caleb was on the search for booty, plundered treasure hidden within the bows of the craft.
Soon, all hands were on deck as a full crew mounted the ship. A dozen or so children were immediately whisked into a world of make believe, where swashbuckling heroes and foes battled for supremacy of the seas.
Here, all were instant friends, though. Nobody would be walking the plank this day.
Children from Asia and Africa played alongside others who knew no race or prejudices. No barriers or limitations. Just water jets, slides and a microcosm of imaginations.
Adult spectators ringed the poolside in comfortable lounge chairs and immersed themselves in Mai Tais, Pina Coladas, books and rays.
A set of four women were neatly positioned in a row, each tanned, highly-sculptured, and disproportionately endowed. "Trophy wives," my brother called them. There certainly was something quite unreal about these friends, if you get my drift. To be frank, they looked as if they shared the same plastic surgeon and spent quite a penny to ‘enhance’ what God had given them through their genetic codes.
After a short while, they were the only other adults remaining as their children played with ours.
The women started to read various editions of Shape magazine. All in a row.
I was tempted to pull out my camera to record the absurdity of it all. But I refrained so as to not appear to be some sort of photographic voyeur, infringing upon a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition shoot. Besides, my wife sitting next to me might have questioned my motives.
The whole scene was a little surreal – children chasing dreams on an aquatic playground; and silicone women chasing dreams of physical perfection or affirmation between the pages of a magazine.
Don’t misunderstand me, God created the human form to be lovely and attractive (my wife’s beauty always makes me weak at the knees!) And God desires for us, as Christ-followers, to keep the temples of the Holy Spirit in good working order. But we all know about the unhealthy, unbalanced pursuit of physical beauty at the expense of things more valuable, more lasting, don’t we?
Will these same children that were presently dodging Scylla and Charybdis be later caught in the wicked wiles of narcissism? Will the alluring Song of the Sirens broadcast by Hollywood and the media bring them to treacherous depths? Will they judge each other on outward appearances, instead of playing freely together and relishing in what God made them to be?
That would be sheer piracy.