Pringles, tuna relish sandwiches, RC cola, Coppertone sunscreen and my pink Strawberry Shortcake swimsuit are the treasured memories I have of the “shi shi” beach. As a youth, almost daily, especially during the summer months, my mom would pack up the car and take me to Onekahakaha Beach Park located in Keaukaha. Being an only child and with family living abroad, it usually was just my mom and I, on these outings. But once at the beach, we always met other locals or mainland visitors, and eventually made some really good friends.
Late Friday afternoon, I had the opportunity to meet up with some sweet mamas and their keiki from the Big Island Babywearing Group at Onekahakaha Beach Park. It has been close to 30 years since I went back to this keiki friendly beach. The Hawai’i County Parks and Recreation has done a fabulous job of updating the pavilions, improving the landscape to avoid all the recurring puddles, and putting in more picnic benches and grass for families to layout and play.
Seeing the keiki run around while family and friends lounge on the grass made me envision how I might be spending my weekends in the not too distant future. I also soaked in the different healthy snacks and baby wear the keiki were sporting. My mom joined me on this outing, and as we walked along the shoreline with baby, we reminisced about my childhood and how another generation will be enjoying playing in the sand, digging up sea shells, and swimming in the “shi shi” beach. Maybe her memories won’t include Pringles and a Strawberry Shortcake swimsuit, but at least she will create her own memories at the same place I played as a child.