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.