“Pipili no ka pilali I ke kumu kukui”
olelo noeau 2662
This Hawaiian Proverb, or olelo noeau means, “the pilali gum sticks to the kukui tree.” (Pukui 1983).
This proverb is often used when referring to the strong bond between a child and a loved one. Whether it be a grandparent, parent, an aunty or uncle, it usually speaks of the bond between generations. As I mentioned before, I was born and raised on the island of Maui. Every summer my children are blessed with visiting their grandparents. And in return it is definitely a break for me =). All five children spend time living a ‘simple life.’ That’s what I call it. However, my two older boys, who are 8 and 7 years old, claim that’s how poor people live.
So, my father being a hardworking grandpa tells them, “No, this is how a family that works together lives. We raise and grow the food we need to stay healthy. We work hard doing so that we can use our money to buy fun stuff.”
Working hard in the taro patches and feeding the cows -- my boys decide this is kind of a cool thing, but nonetheless a weird lifestyle. I remember getting a call from my son telling me, “Mom, did you know that they pick the oranges from the tree and just eat it? And what’s even worse is they climb the tree and they don’t even wash the fruit.” I was laughing so much. However, I thought to myself, this is such a small thing that I overlooked as a parent, MY SIMPLE LIFE.
It’s amazing how in such a short time away from such a ‘rich’ generation we lose so much of who we are and what we overlook to perpetuate in our children. The bond between a child and a grandparent is priceless. Yes, yes, I know how our mothers can and will step on our toes, but if we allow them an inch, they will teach our children how to accomplish a mile in more ways than imaginable.
The bond between my children and their grandparents are so strong that sometimes it makes me sad to hear them cry because they miss them. However, with the ‘money for fun stuff’ that Papa spoke of, I was able to buy the kiddies a little computer that has skype ready to go whenever they need to say hello.