Thursday, May 07, 2009

Happy Birthday Ikaika

May 7th...It is Ikaikaolahui's 16th birthday :) I can hardly believe it.

This morning he came into my room, laid down in the cradle of my arm, and I sang him a little Happy Birthday song. On the way to school, I was giving him the low down on the day, early session of Kung Fu today, followed by cake at our house for the family. We pinky shook in agreement, although Ikaika thinks that doesn't mean he agreed to the plan today...Kaika, Kaika...pinky shakes are binding in this family ;) hehehe.

There was a hot air balloon out this morning and I teased him, "You see, there it is, in honor of your birthday, just like I requested." He of course just rolled his eyes at me. I told him, "Look closer, it says, 'Happy Birthday Kaika' on it." So he leaned forward and took a closer look up at the balloon. The hot air balloon had various color blocks on it, but no discernable writing, and Ikaika was quick to correct me, "Mom, you're crazy, there are no words on that balloon." To which I replied, "Oh, it's in color language, you see, the big blue square in the middle of the balloon... it's your name." Again, my little Kaikers rolls his eyes at me..."Mom..." he laughs.

As we sit at the stop light, I half tickle him and tell him that I also requested the beautiful weather today for his birthday. Eyes roll again as he smiles at me. I start to tell Ikaika about how he was not he biggest baby born 16 years ago. There was a girl baby that outweighed him by 4 ounces. I kind of joked that she was gargantuan, like a sumo wrapped in a white blanket with a pink beanie on so you knew she was a baby. Ikaika said dryly, "4 ounces is not that much." I snapped back with, "When you are pushing it out of your body, it can make or break you." We all shudder at the thought...oy birthing...then laugh it off; the boys cause they'll never have to know what it's like to have a baby and me, well I laugh it off because it's hard to believe I ever had babies period.

Dropping the boys off at school, I tell them I love them, and wish them a good day, and Ikaika is quick to tease me back, "So is that your third gift to me?" "Yes Pants, it is." And our game for the morning ride is complete. I watched that little Bun and my Koa move up the walk towards the high school. Refusing to cry in the parking lot, I smile and think instead of what it must be like for him right now, to be 16, then I wander back in my mind thinking, "What on earth was I doing when I was 16?"

Driving home, I remembered. I went to Timpview just like Koa and Kaika do now - lol. On my 16th birthday, my family came to my Sophomore basketball game in the girl's gym. My Mom brought a cake and they sang to me. On the way home, some BYU student rear ended us, so we didn't go out to dinner for my birthday, however it was a really good day anyways. Best friends at the time were Snyders, Mindy, and my partner in all sorts of crime: Susan Anderson. Sue rules...I think she somehow got me a picture of SH on a motorcycle for my birthday...hahaha, shoot, I'm pretty sure I gifted that photo on to Jenny Snyder a couple of weeks later :). Thanks Susan :)

Funny enough, I just saw Cornell and Becky Saluone last night at my softball game. The Saluones went to Provo High and Susan and I thought they were pretty cool hehehe. Friday night fun back then: High school basketball games followed by dancing at The Palace with Dave Smith, DeAnn Toledo, my cousins Heather and Kanani, and Susan of course. Music that we loved: Oh my gosh, well, it was 1990, so we had quite the selection, but I'll wince and name a few favorites from that time: Poison, GnR, Journey, The Cure, Skid Row, Cinderella, Eazy E...yeah...shoot haha. I remember the wardrobe of choice back then as well: bandanas, sweatshirts and boxers over thermals...Susan with her Converse shoes and collection of Swatch watches, me with my hiking boots and frou frou hair bows. Quite the athletic fashion statement huh...haha, what were we thinking?

Crush at the time: Hmm...well it was a transition time for me ;) Finishing up the SH thing, moving on to the Law boy from Provo High...sigh haha. Fast forward to today: Still transitioning (lol) and oddly enough, I find myself absolutely in love with the Law brothers...nice how some things only get exponentially better with time hahaha. Speaking of things that remained the same...I still get too little sleep, dream a lot, and am surrounded by wonderful friends and family. My Life :)

Back to the present and the most important subject of the day: Ikaika.

To the baby: Happy Birthday my son. Your Mommer misses you being a little Pants and has had a good cry remembering you this morning. I can still see you standing outside in the front yard, with your strawberry Poptart bribe in hand as reward for going to Milestone aka "little kids prison" and Koa at the McDonald's playland...the year you and Koa were Power Rangers for Halloween and found out that when you knocked on people's doors they gave you candy...for free. How Christine used to ask you to say "yellow" repeatedly cause you would say, "Lellow", until you got wise to the game and one day simply answered, "Pink." were born with attitude weren't you my darling one :)

Happy, Happy Birthday Ikaika...if I could write it in color blocks it would be: yellow, orange, ;)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Idaho and "Dear Mom..."

It's May. The last couple of weeks have been semi soul wringing, trying to figure out where I'm going and what I'm doing with my life. My life...sometimes I wonder what that is at all. Tris was messaging with me a couple of weeks ago, sensing the downward unknown going on in me, so she invited me up to visit her in Idaho. And then over that weekend, she also offered me a new job at her company.

I went up to Idaho, it felt a lot like running away from the not knowing what to do here. Tris and her husband and I talked a lot. It is great to know that I have such kind and loving friends who want so many good things for me. I wanted the job, I wanted the new life, the one where I cut ties with everything here that haunts me at times. It was hard to leave there, where life was a blank slate, full of possibility, and I left Idaho determined to make a new life for myself there.

But then I came home. I told the boys that we were going to move. I didn't feel any push back, but they were not very excited either. It was more of a solemn agreement to be supportive. So I watched them, I listened to what they were not saying, and began to rethink my decision.

I get my best inspiration in the shower - funny huh. So I was washing my hair and thinking, "Well, why is this not the right thing to do?" In that moment, I began to get all of these ideas about what was important to me. The thing that "did the trick" was a promise I was given that I'd be successful in my professional endeavors, but that the most important work I'd do would be within the walls of my own home - it was a call to always put my home and family first. That little promise has curbed so many of my choices since I was 23. And then there was a clarity that I have not felt it a long time come to my mind and all I could see were the faces of my sons.

And the decision was made. I talked to the boys the next morning and let them know that I loved them and that I would not ask them to sacrifice so much, that I realized my joy was in their happiness, and that it would be selfish to require a life change of them. They didn't seem too enthused about my decision, in fact they mostly just waved it off and didn't even seem the least bit relieved, but I felt that I had made the right decision for our family.

In the last few days since we had that talk, I have just looked on them with such love. The stress of trying to figure out my life, how to do better at my job, how to make decisions about my time had all taken my focus off the boys. The running away to Idaho was a great opportunity to stand back and see what matters to me. I am very grateful for that.

I feel much more grounded today. I see so much of how my life is grace, peace, beauty, love, and joyful kindness. All I could see a couple of weeks ago was the wreckage, as if I'd failed miserably at life and needed to put myself far away so that I didn't have to see or remember anymore. But the more open I have been to acknowledging the blessings in my life, the more I see that I am going to be more than okay, in fact, even now, I am more myself than I've ever been.

So today, Kekoa gave me an envelope with "MOM" written on it. He had written me a letter. There was a lot to it, but the part I will share is this:

"It helps me to know I have you to look to for support. Mom, thank you SO much for all that you do for me and everything you have taught me...I'm grateful to be your son. I want to be the best I can so people can look at me and say how great of a Mom you are because you are a great Mom. Love, Koa aka 'Your Baby'"

It's hard you know, to look at my life and think of 'where I should be' and have those 'if only...' thoughts, but then there are these little gifts that remind me that my life has not been a waste. I meant something, maybe even everything to two boys. I want so much for them, I want so much for us in our little family of 3.'s late, I'm just sitting at my kitchen table crying now, so glad that somehow I fumbled through to the "right choice" and being grateful that I have time to still be the Mommer that loves these babies.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My home :)

It is late and I'm enjoying the quiet time in the clean warmth of my room. Since Christmas there have been many changes, there have been many times that I did not know what was to become of me or if I even cared anymore, so overwhelmed by the blasts of change that shook my very foundation. I am only now settling in after the storm, grateful that it feels like it is time for peace again for a while.

I went to California last weekend. I didn't revel in it as I usually do, in fact, this was the most low key of my short weekend trips, however it was nice to be with my ocean for a while. I must admit, I longed for home in Utah hours after I arrived in LA...that has never happened before. I missed the boys...I wanted to see them, to kiss their baby faces, to hold their hands, to hear their voices...I was so lonely without them.

Saturday I drove around LA...just going all over, soaking in what I loved about that place, but for some reason, the connection I used to feel to everything from the dirt to the graffiti was no longer there. It seems that my heart has adjusted to the mountains and the quiet in the canyon at night when I'm staring up at the stars. Usually the earth and the plants call to me, but this time there was silence, I was not as amazed as I usually am...perhaps my heart truly lives in Utah now.

But the see it hear it, to taste it on my hands, to stand in the ocean and be joined again with that element that completes me...that was wonderful. It was Valentine's day and there I was, on that broken pier piece on the Playa del Rey, sitting overlooking the crashing waves that seemed to jump up around me. I dangled my feet over the edge, just to be closer to the water. I felt like some type of royal, there on this pedestal of sorts, while the waves of water crashed around me like some chaotic was magical :) Then I laid back and closed my eyes to soak up the sun. I laid there and felt numb for a while, but then started thinking of my boys and the family I hope to have and that numbness melted away and left me salt water soaked from both my tears and the ocean water. I was there for a couple of hours, just being with the ocean, thinking in my mind, nurturing the love I have for nature and for Him who creates all of this beauty. It was a very good day. I think that I will always love the ocean, I will love where I came from, but now, I love the peace and beauty of my home and my little family more.

I was glad to get home. I was glad to see my sons. I was glad to see that my home was as I left it, safe, cozy, clean, and right. I talked with the boys about their weekend. I love to hear them tell me about their adventures. They take turns correcting each other about the left out details of the other's story...bossy pants kids, yup, they are mine, propriety bred into their cells, and a bit of arrogant condescension as well as they take turns being the authority on what "really happened". My I love you.

So the boys have been going to Kung Fu. That was an inspired event. I had to swallow my pride and take a real look at what I can provide the boys as their mother. I have given them much, I have charged them with even more, but one night, when I was observing and talking to a new friend of mine, I realized that I cannot make them complete, that they would need to learn how to be men from, well, men. The boys kind of fought me on the going to Kung Fu thing, and it is hard on my heart. If they could understand the intention of my heart is not to make them suffer, it is to look at the long view of things, to give them opportunity, and to have them learn what they need to know to be whole. I want so much for them...I pray often that they will feel the intent of my day if not today.

I am so proud of them when I watch them at the Kung Fu class. I see them working and moving and trying and doing. They are little men, not babies then. And after class, they are so much more confident, straight speaking, and aligned with who they are, I see them as men then and feel such relief and gratitude for all the people who contribute to their goodness. Oh boys...I just want you to be everything you were sent to be...I love you as the borrowed gifts from heaven that you are, as the divine sons of a loving, perfect my babies for a while yet, but not for long.

Kekoa was going on about the girls in his life tonight after Kung Fu. Ikaika was expounding on the stupidness of girls in general. But it was fun, to hear them in their own words, explaining their experiences. I have to say that when they ask me, "Hey Mom, what do you do to make a girl like you?" that I answer them pretty honestly, which I think makes them somewhat formidable weapons against girls (lol) but I know their hearts, and whilst they may play some games, the emphasis on not being a tool or hurting other people is pretty deeply part of their nature.

One thing I have to write about is Ikaika's latest practice driving time. Imagine teaching a strong willed, terrified boy how to drive a stick shift has been fun to say the least. Kekoa is happily yelling directions at Ikaika while he drives, berating his shifting skills, laughing in a riotess manner when Ikaika stalls, and acting like an old pro every time Ikaika does somthing he's not supposed to do.

I am there playing referee mostly, telling Ikaika to stop jerking the wheel like its a video game, and telling Kekoa to shut his mouth cause its not helping to have 2 people yelling instructions as Ikaika. We went through the same 4-way stop twice to make sure Ikaika got the hang of starting and stopping. The first time through, Ikaika stalled the car and Kekoa laughed and laughed, while Ikaika threatened to get out of the car and walk home, while I told him to pull it together and start the car and GO! Sigh...the second time through that same 4-way stop resulted in Ikaika telling me and Koa that he hated us for making him do the 4-way stop again while he laughed nervously. He stalled the car twice at the 4-way stop that time...neither Koa nor I were instructing Ikaika, we were both laughing so hard that we were crying. This of course pushed Ikaika's independent buttons and he started the car and drove through the 4-way stop telling me and Kekoa that we were jerks...of course he was laughing too then...we all were.'s times like that that make me smile...just the simple things you know, where we are all 3 being our individual selves within the safety and joy of our little family. I love these times, I think that they are a blessing to my life. I think I realized that I do not need to wander away from home to find what I am looking for anymore. It is my in my home. :)