Mele, our newest Baby A team member, presents a monthly blog column inspired by Hawaiian proverbs. Mele is a brave mother of five who is also working towards a Masters to develop Hawaiian education curriculum. Out of all of us, she knows very well how to juggle the demands and joys of raising her little ones while still holding on to her sanity and sense-of-self.
“I maikai ke kalo i ka oha”
olelo noeau 1232
My blog posts will feature Hawaiian proverbs and how it may have helped me to understand my values in the life i live and how I make choices in raising my children. I don’t always make the right choices, but I live and learn. Although these are Hawaiian proverbs they may just as well pertain to your life experiences whether you are of Hawaiian ancestry or not. So please, if you like it, love it, hate it, or whatever, I just say ENJOY IT and you may find your stories have some similarities. The best thing about it is, it is UNIQUE because it’s YOUR story.
This Hawaiian proverb or olelo noeau means, “the goodness of the taro is judged by the youngest plant it produces.” (Pukui, 1983).
Everyday I am faced with questions ranging from what should I feed my children for snack today to what school is right for them. I am constantly asking myself what was best for me while growing up. As I remember, reflect, and gather everything that worked I remember, OMG, I’m raising my kids after some shifting of paradigms. So now, I’m starting to freak out and think, I don’t think I know what I need to do.
So back to the drawing board I go. Stressing out and realizing if I think about this for an hour then I may get to sleep for five hours and hopefully wake up eager to start the new day. Forget it, right? I’m human and I want six hours of sleep because a well-rested mommy means a happy mommy. Now at 5 a.m. I’m up and start my day. My four older children are greeted by my 2-year-old who, of course, loves his day because he doesn’t have to be anywhere. However, just having that happy attitude helps in starting my kids’ day off on "the right side of the bed."
Going through the motions of getting washed up and dressed they come to the table and wait patiently for breakfast. After that we’re all packed up and ready to face the world. The older boys help get everyone situated in their car seats and at all four different drop-offs, the boys give each other knuckles and kisses for sister. Just as they each leave my car is when I see how the simple things I overlook are the values they have grasped to get through life just fine. No matter what paradigm we live in, values within a family and what makes it work can be applied to any lifestyle and our children will be the ones to portray it in the best way they can.
So, as a parent sometimes I need to step back and remember what I value and what values I make into lifestyles for our children. The best reward is, of course, watching these values amongst siblings. However, the breathtaking moment is when they leave the car and you watch how they treat their peers and other people in their community. Don’t get me wrong, my babies are little adults and WE ALL HAVE OUR MOMENTS. We will never have a perfect day, but we have a lot of good ones. They are always watching and learning. I am who my children will one day want to be like, so if I see they value what I value, I am doing what it takes to raise my children to be successful. My children are the fruits that my ancestors and I have produced. I humbly say, I am proud of who they are. (MD)