Personal Doldrums


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There are a few things going on. Or maybe there are few things going on. Last night, as I assessed once again that I’d have to clean up the kitchen to cook dinner and then clean it up again, I … Continue reading

The Thrill of the Hunt


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It is difficult to explain to our observers why we do what we do. I am often asked why I torture myself by trying to be a triathlete. Although I am always training for an event somewhere in the future, … Continue reading

Pass the Doobie.


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@postaday 363; #postaday2011. Over the years I have accumulated quite a few friends on social media. I have met their children and grandchildren, and they are almost always delightful. But I don’t want them to be my friend on Facebook, … Continue reading

Hau‘oli Lā Hānau to Kid1, 12. Happy Birthday, Kiddo!

A happy Kid1 with her "Let Them Eat Cupcakes" guava cupcake and candle. Photo by John Bender, aka @AlohaJohn.

@postaday 261; #postaday2011.

If you are my friend on Facebook and you have a birthday, I always try to put Hau‘oli Lā Hānau on  your wall, especially if you live far away. It’s Hawaiian for Happy Birthday. It’s my way of showing my appreciation for Hawai‘i, my home for more than 30 years. It’s a little Aloha Spirit sent in your direction.

Today is Kid1’s birthday. I love this day and I love Kid2’s birthday. Moms have every right to enjoy their children’s birthdays. After all, we were there, RIGHT? I was telling my girls last night that I still remember giving birth, as both of them were delivered naturally. I remember Kid2 feeling like a train coming down and out…a slow, giant train, LOL. I had to hold back when it was her time, the doctor said I was pushing too fast. I guess I wanted to get it over with.

John and I went over to Kaiser Moanalua 12 years ago 10 p.m. the night before and walked the halls because I was hardly dilated. It’s true, when it’s your first child, you really think that is the moment when it’s actually hours and hours and hours away. That’s a lot of mileage in hospital halls and stairways.

My water secretly broke for Sophie. It popped, and her little head stopped it like a cork. So that was kinda weird. I didn’t even know it! Giving birth for the first time is a mixed bag of experiences. Don’t be a baby when you’re having a baby, because it’s all about the baby and now you’re no longer entitled to act like a baby for the rest of your life. Man up. Or, maybe I should say, WOMAN UP because Man Up isn’t nearly as demanding. LOL. Putting a baby to your breast for the first time is a very weird thing to do, too. All this stuff you have to do on faith. Lo and behold, your body functions in the way it was designed, eventually.

So I remember things. She was born the Year of the Rabbit on the Chinese calendar, so she has a lot of bunny stuff, even a commemorative stamp. I remember sitting her down in front of the TV for the first time to watch an Elmo Xmas special. OMG, she was riveted. She’d sit upright in her playpen and watch Sesame Street, a sponge concentrating on all of the input, processing it as fast as she could. I remember putting her down for a nap, going into the living room to collapse in my chair only to be startled when she woke me up and proudly hollered “ABC!” in my face! She had climbed out and came over to me. Nap times are really for moms. Kids just don’t get the memo.

Now she’s a budding scientist, is helping a University of Hawaii graduate student with his dissertation on asteroids, plays viola and piano, skipped a grade way back when, and is the site manager for all things apple at home. She’s younger than her peers, but she’s mature beyond her years, and her sister Kid2, and John and I are very proud of her.

It’s a difficult thing for me to see that she is 12 years old. Children grow so fast. Her childhood is so different from mine, and I’m glad of that. I hope her future is, too.

My kids are my gift to the world. Wait until you see what they can do! And yes, all of our children are gifts to the world. Malleable treasures, all. We are their stewards. Parenting is a tough road. But I wouldn’t take a step backward for anything!


Enduring the self-anointed expert.

@postaday 260; #postaday2011.

I bet she voted for President Obama, as did I. I bet she thought she was morally obligated to show her concern for a child with a cough. But really, I don’t know what she was thinking as she stopped the masters swim session last night to bring to my attention (and my coach — Kid1’s social studies teacher, and Kid1’s school principal)  that she noticed my daughter was coughing. News flash: Kid2 has been coughing since the first week of school. Why wouldn’t I be aware?

It was all I could do to not whip my right arm down and spray a wall of water at her. Really? You think I’m not AWARE?

Unsatisfied, she then went over to my daughters, who were playing in a different section of the pool and told them:

  • She was a teacher.
  • Apparently, their mother isn’t worried about them.
  • They could go to school and ask their teacher for medicine.
  • And Kid2 has whooping cough.
  • Which means that she is also a medical professional?
  • Hmmmmm.
This makes me wonder. How empty is this woman’s life? Has she a family? Has she a husband or a significant other? Does she love anyone? Does anyone love her? Is she satisfied with her profession? Or does she drip into lives like a bucket of paint thrown over the world in a cape of misery? Does she make the world groan? She made us groan!
I’m all for health care reform and access to medical care. I think it’s great that preventive health care is being pushed to the masses. But I do think you should reconsider going up to a mother in an East Oahu swimming pool ready to call her out on her parenting skills. Why?
  • You might get splashed.
  • You might have to identify yourself.
  • Your professional skills might be questioned.
  • You might walk away feeling like a horse’s ass. And that would be correct.
As is always the case for me, appropriate responses come later. Rather than waste them, let me put them here:
  • If you’re a teacher, then you’d be familiar with state and federal laws prohibiting the dispensing of medicines at school.
  • If you’re a doctor, you wouldn’t want to upset a child by telling her, without a parent present, what her diagnosis is. Especially in a swimming pool! Especially free of charge!
  • If you’re a Child and Family Services employee, then you would be familiar with the judicial path to attending to Hawaii’s families.
  • If your morals compel you to meddle in the business of strangers, then you could probably find plenty of those in need outside of a private swimming club setting.
In all of these cases, here are some free tips most people have already mastered in life by the time you’re a skinny-assed busybody dressed in Jane Fonda Workout clothes, leg warmers and a sweatband:
  • Mind Your Own Business.
  • Know when to shut your mouth.
  • Know the difference between a happy child and an unhappy child.
  • Know the difference between a healthy child and a child with a chronic disease.
  • Know the difference between a loved child and an abused child.
  • Know the difference between a mother in love with her children and a mother who is not.
  • Know when you’re way out of line.

Minus Mine Craft.

@postaday 237; #postaday2011.

How do you feel when  you get to work on Monday? I get to my cube and decompress from my weekend. I literally sit down and my body goes aaaahhhhh. The weekends are so busy despite how restful we try to make them. I am up to the middle of season two of Mad Men, did some swimming, ushered at the annual Society of Professional Journalists Gridiron event, rode my bicycle, took a kid to robotics, the girls had piano on Sunday, and we decided against going to University of Hawaii wahine volleyball last night. John and the girls are coughing too much. I do not know how I’ve dodged this latest bronchitis bullet.

I also pulled the plug on Mine Craft. Even if it does help people become more savvy in this ever evolving technical world, my girls don’t need what I like to refer to as mind cr^p sucking away at their spare time, followed by Sunday evening panic attacks about not having homework ready. Plus, it fuels the bickering that seems to smolder when the girls’ virtual worlds go up in flames, or the wolves have the run of the house with the lava flow, or the time when they both learned to build and then explode everything with TNT. A growing spreadsheet of codes helped the girls become virtual goddesses. I couldn’t stand it. Now they sleep again. Now they get homework done. They’ll find something else. They always do. And I’ll make a new rule. I always do.

Still watching updates from my East Coast friends on Twitter and  Facebook to see how they’re doing. Perhaps the last weekend of the season won’t be a loss for those who have rented or rent homes down the shore. Sand replenishment programs might be shelved for a little bit, though. Some people would like the idea of that.

Trying to find a happy place.

@postaday 155; #postaday2011.

I’m not a big baby, but my heart is heavy, it aches, it’s been in darkness for so long I can’t remember when I felt completely happy. I get that euphoria when I work out at the gym, go for a swim, or ride a bicycle, but even then sometimes the thoughts and worries fill me, complementing the rhythm of my pulse, my breath, my pace. Exercise clears my head, and I’ll soon head out for a workout. Then I’ll feel better. But the problems remain, the ones I cannot solve, the ones I am helpless to control.

Indeed, some things are out of my hands, but it doesn’t mean I can forget them. Such as Sophie. She’s at UH this week. This morning we chatted. Good times are limited to the actual learning. During the down times, the socializing times, the youngest kid on the block isn’t included. She’s got a good head on her shoulders. She doesn’t want to party. She’s 11. I’m glad of that. But my heart aches because this isn’t 100-percent fun for her. While chatting this morning she told me she wants to be an astrobiologist. Does anyone even know what that is?

An excerpt from today’s chat:

Sophie: haha yup

7:09 AM i think i wanna go into astrobiology
 me: that’s so amazing. the frontier is endless! I think we should get all kinds of space TV and movies for you to check out FOR FUN!
 Sophie: the search for possiblilties of life outside our solar system by analyzing asteroids and stuff.
 me: I must always look at the sky. I love the sea and I love the sky.
7:10 AM Sophie: omg space movies REALLY???!! :D
  me 2
 me: Yes. We’ll just strap you into a chair and leave you there for hours and hours with no breaks. :P
 Sophie: hehe do i get snacks?
7:11 AM me: fed to you by your sister!
 Sophie: …. meaning my arms are tied,too?
  if u untie my arms and let me have snax then u have a deal :)
7:12 AM heehee
 me: then i’d have to duct tape your lips, then you can’t eat. it’s a you cant win cant win sit you ay shun.
 Sophie: lol
 me: I keed. I keed.
7:13 AM Sophie: heehee
I’m trying to keep her upbeat with my dumb jokes and wacky humor. I’m trying to stay upbeat myself. I dunno. Maybe it’s the shooting yesterday that has had an effect on me. I don’t even want to hear or see the word ‘random.’ It’s no fun anymore. Anyway, I think there will be a lot of deep sighs on my part, a mini tropical depression, heavy atmosphere pushing down on my throat, fitful sleep patterns, for a few more days.
Once she’s through with this test-slash-adventure, she’ll be pleased, she’ll come away with the good stuff. She might even want to return next year. She’ll be the kid who looks for the little nerdette geek who is trying to find a happy place. I know she will. It’s what we do.