“Aohe puu kiekie ke hoao ia e pii”
Olelo Noeau 209
This Hawaiian proverb or olelo noeau means, “No cliff is too big that it cannot be scaled.” (Pukui, 1983). This proverb is often used when you find that inner strength to complete a task or reach a goal that almost seemed impossible. Everyday I am faced with many challenges raising five children ranging from the ages two years old to eight years old. Yes, if you do the math I have either been pregnant or breastfeeding for the past ten years. SERIOUSLY, WHAT WAS I THINKING?
To keep my sanity and adult mind on track, I chose to go back to school. I finished my bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian Language in 2000. I had my first baby in 2001. After my third child in 2005, the University of Hawaii at Manoa started a Master’s program for Hawaiian language. I was working full-time at Punana Leo and decided to stop working to go back to school. There were only four of us in the program so the hours worked around a ‘working mom’s’ schedule. With night classes available, I chose to stay home with my babies during the day and go to school at night. Yes, I loved staying home, but not forever. As soon as Dad pulled up his car I was literally handing them off in the driveway. I didn’t feel bad at all for leaving; it actually felt GREAT. Did I ever think I was a bad mother for wanting a break? NEVER. The time for myself gave me peace of mind to really nurture and address my other strengths in life.
Sometimes I get so caught up in my children that I forget about the other passions I have in my life. And when those passions challenge me, like hours and hours of research, I remember my inner strength that comes from the love I have for my children to help me get through these situations. I try to raise them to be ambitious and thorough, so finishing a task they take on is very important. So they are my strength that pulls me to the top of that steep cliff.
To all the Moms and Dads out there who do whatever it is in life that requires that inner strength, my hats off to you. It is never an easy thing to have to dig deep, make sacrifices, and accomplish the things we want in life.