there was a family of 4: a mom a dad and a son and daughter. Some would say thats a perfect sized family and nicely balanced, but in this perfect little family there was still something missing. That something missing was filled in the early morning of September 26, 1980. This was going to be a special day... a party was planned, invitations were sent out, decorations were set! The baby wasn't due until October 6th (the daughter's Birthday) so that gave them enough time to have a birthday party. I guess this little baby didnt want to miss out on the all fun and decided to join the little family a week and a half early! Born into the Tarayao family 27 years ago today was Kawika Aukai! I wasn't around yet but I'm sure that it was a wonderful day! Happy birthday Kawika I hope you are having the best birthday ever over in Thailand!
Kawika is the 3rd of 4 children. His middle name Aukai means "one who travels by water" and it couldnt fit him better! He has been a water baby his entire life! Grew up swimming and excelled in it all the way from community swim team, to a competitive swim team, throughout high school and college. Growing up behind him, I can remember going to his swim meets and him ALWAYS winning! I was so proud! In high school I could see his name up on the records board, even in recent years, I can still look up there and see his name! Because he frequented the newspaper articles, they started calling him "The flying Hawaiian" and boy did that catch on!
Not only did he excel in swimming but he also played water polo in high school! I guess I can thank him for somewhat influencing in water polo. Kawika loves the ocean! He loved it so much that he decided to work there as soon as he was old enough. He became and Lifeguard Cadet and the next year a Lifeguard for Newport Beach and was Named Rookie of the Year! Does that surprise anyone? Kawika has always been extremely good at whatever he does! Even after graduating and getting a "real job" he continues to work at the place he loves, the beach! Even if it is only on saturdays during the summer season!
He is also an amazing surfer! I can't really thank him in that department... Actually, I look back and wish that he had taken me surfing so I could be that much further along in my own surfing now! Thats ok Kawika, I still love you! And i'm glad we have that in common now and can go on an epic surf adventure together in the future... near future!
So some of my favorite memories with Kawika:
1. When mom and dad would go out and leave gavan to babysit us, we would have our pillow fights or wrestling matches on mom and dad's bed! The best part of that are the names that came out of it: gavan: Andre the Giant, Kawika: MadManBeek, and me: MeekiesManHunter.
2. At one of Kawika's Swim Meets there was this foresty area near the pool and in between events we went and caught these itty bitty frogs. (Not really sure if you remember that Kawika but I do and it was fun)
3. Sharing a room with a little sister may not be that fun especially when she is a messy little sister.... Saturdays in our house were clean up the house days. We couldn't go anywhere or do anything until our chores were done and our room was clean. Kawika had all of his stuff nice and neat in a little corner of the room and would tidy it up in about 5 minutes, I, on the other hand, would spend hours on end cleaning up the rest of the room... because all of my "stuff" took up the rest of the room. (not really a favorite memory but a funny one looking back.)
4. When we lived in the "Green House" We would ride our bikes up to the tennis courts and look for tennis ball that people had hit over the fence, stick them in our spokes and ride back home.
5. We were little pyro's growing up and would tie stuff to the flu opener thing in the fire place and burn it.
6. Swing dancing was ALWAYS a favorite!!! If we were ever at a dance and a swing song came on.... I would always rush to find Kawika!
7. When we were kids, Kawika did an Iron Kids Triathlon and after his first one, I decided I wanted to be like him and do one too.
8. (Not the best memory but a memory) Kawika has had to get stiches 2 times in his life and I was around and saw both times when he got hurt. First time, we riding our bikes, (probably back from getting tennis balls, see #4) his tires slipped on a manhole cover and he flew over the handle bars and landed on his chin. I ran the rest of the way home to get mom. That night he had a little beard on his chin, before he even reached 10 years old probably. Second time, we were at a youth activity pool party and there was a slide. He had been going down it all night and then tried going down head first and flipping at the end, this time he flipped too soon and hit his forehead. again, I ran to get mom.
9. Last time I was visiting California we sat around playing the Ukulele, and he was lovin it! I taught him all I knew.... that didnt take long since I don't know all that much! But it was really fun and a great memory!
10. Also on the last visit, he took me skating... that was AWESOME! We would go down the parking ramps at the UCI parking structure (Late at night so we wouldnt bother anyone) you may have seen my post about that night if not you can look at it, its called the Bomb Squad. Sorry I dont know how to do links yet. but check it out!
One of my favorite pictures of Me and Kawika:
Thank You Kawika for being such a great brother! You never cease to amaze me! Thanks for the memories, the laughs, and the cries! i'm excited for all the memories that are waiting to be made! Happy Birthday!!!
A Picture of the Original Tarayao Kids!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Posted by Malia at 4:58 PM