Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Psychic encounters of the worst kind

Although I never want to talk about it, and I won't again, I'm psychic. Not psychic in that Allison Dubois way (the character in Medium, who happens to be a real person), but in the way that most parents, especially moms, are psychic. We are so in tune with our children that it allows us to know some things even though we are normally clueless. I don't know why it's more prevalent in mothers, but in my experience, it is. My mother has keyed in on me whenever things have been especially horrible for me. My anguish has woken her up. But she's not the only one. One afternoon my husband and I were outside and we both heard our son's voice call, "mom!" It was the voice of pain and fear. I looked at him and said, "did you hear that?" My husband said yes, it was our oldest boy who was at boy scout camp. We got into the car and started driving from Hilo toward Honokaa. When we got the phone call, Isaac was already on the way to the emergency room in Waimea. We were already half way there. True, it wasn't psychic in that we knew something was wrong before it happened, but we still were in tune enough to hear him call us.
Keeping our minds open to our children and vice versa is one thing, but there are times when I know something is going to happen before it does. Unfortunately, I only hone in on negative things happening, so that's why I never talk about this. I have been trying unsuccessfully to talk myself out of feeling dread so that somehow if I don't acknowledge my physical reaction to the dread that will happen, or if I will myself to think positive thoughts, I can somehow stop that thing from happening by sheer force of my will. It's very, very draining, and I haven't been able to distract myself or slough it off as being paranoid, so although I keep thinking positive, the signs of something going wrong comes no matter how much I try to keep it at bay. It sucks to know that your son will never make it through the fire department just by showing up at the orientation with him. The dread was so strong that I was actually tearing up and I couldn't stop shaking. I'm a good actor, I can be very stoic, but the turmoil inside just made me want to throw up. When a number of things started happening, the writing was on the wall and that was the end.
So we were at HPA this past Saturday for a cross country meet. Our son, Ahi, was running so we made our way out to Waimea. As soon as we got there, we saw him across the field and bam, the dread hit my chest. He wasn't doing anything. Just sitting down with his teammates before their race, but something. I saw red. The girls race was first, so I had a chance to start talking to myself about being paranoid, after all the red golf cart I saw wasn't red at all, it was white. Then a couple girls started going down, I saw the white golf cart bring someone to the medic tent, and then a red cart brought someone down. Dang! I read my book and stopped watching. It was time for the boys to warm up. Ahi was running fine, nothing unusual. I must be going crazy. He started well, kept up with one of the faster runners, slowed down a little when he passed again, but nothing unusual, and then the time started ticking down. He normally runs his course in 20 minutes. At 22 minutes, I had to stop pretending that I was reading my book. At 25 minutes, I was standing up and trying to find my husband, hoping that somehow, I had miscounted the KS runners and he was already in, but my husband was craning his neck to look up the hill at the runners too, so no, Ahi wasn't in. All the while, I'm watching that damn red cart at the medic tent. It doesn't move. On his slowest day, my son is not a 25 minute runner. Something is wrong. My husband and I start doing the chicken without a head walk until we both decide to look for the coaches. I find some parents, tell them Ahi's not in. They find their son, let them know Ahi's not in, find coach. They don't even realize he's not in. Ahi's coach talks to one course marshall, she sends him to another course marshall. All I hear is Kamehameha is missing a runner, anyone see a runner down? At this point, one of his teammates starts running up the hill to run the course backwards, and then the red cart starts moving. They found him! Now the wait. Possible injuries go through my head. I'm ok with anything but heat stroke, although I do catch over one of the walkies that he's bleeding. My paranoid mind does come up with horrible things, but if it's not true, I can easily brush it away as overreaction, and it goes away. It actually was a branch that he stepped on and a part of it went through his shoe and into his foot. The branch was sticking out and he felt a prick, but he thought it just was a scratch so he pulls the wood out thinking he can finish the race. Of course once he pulls it out it starts bleeding and when he steps, it's so painful and gushy that he realizes that he can't finish. Luckily some girls from HPA were taking pictures so they waited with him as the race continued. Some of his teammates stopped and he told them to keep running! It probably would have helped if after they came in they actually notified someone that he was down, but he waited about ten minutes before they picked him up. I'm glad we were there. I'm sure eventually someone would have looked for him, but knowing something is going to happen, and not being able to see exactly what will happen is the worst kind of knowing. I'm hoping that as the kids get older, I'll grow out of this. Is that possible? I need advice from moms of adults.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why those who can MUST teach

One of my colleagues sent me this link. Dalton Sherman is a 5th grader who talked to 20,000 educators in Dallas. When the occupation keeps getting slammed, when the budgets keep getting cut, educators need to believe that what they are doing matters. And it does.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What are they teaching?

Ken and Pono, our youngest, come home from cub scouts and right away Pono says, "Mom, dad says I have to ask you."
Me: Yes?
Pono: What's afterbirth? (Of course I'm eating dinner, but Pono says, Dad said it's the sack for the baby. Did it hurt?
Me: Did having you hurt? Yes. Did the afterbirth hurt? No. Where is this coming from? Is that what you guys were talking about at cub scouts? (Ken's the pack leader - I know he was spending this afternoon trying to figure out what he was covering tonight, but come on.)
Pono: You know that chant about Papa and Wakea?
Me: Yes, (now Ahi's getting involved in the conversation from the other room, I hear him chanting)
O Wakea noho ia Papahanaumoku
Hanau o Hawai'i he moku
Hanau o Maui he moku . . .
Pono: The end of the chant says that Kaho'olawe is the afterbirth. I wanted to know what that was.
Ahi: He 'ula a'o Kaho'olawe - oh yeah, I guess so, afterbirth.
Me: How long ago did you learn about this? Did your kumu translate for you and say afterbirth? Was Kumu Crabbe talking about it?
Pono: No. Kumu Silva talked about it but she said we couldn't ask questions until she was done explaining, but we ran out of time.
Ok - let me process this. Pono had Kumu Silva in 4th grade. He is in 5th grade. I remember helping him memorize this chant and that was last fall, so that means that Pono has been thinking about this afterbirth question for ONE YEAR!

What's going on in school? What are they teaching? I may be old fashioned, but I think that certain things should be taught at school and certain things should be taught at home. How to put the dishes away and feed the dog. . . home lessons. But afterbirth and sex are definitely things that should be taught at school. That's where I learned about it, and what's good enough for me. . . ;-)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Samurai Girl

Finally a teen girl heroine who is not obsessed with boys, parties, gossip and money! ABC family's newest series, Samurai Girl is about Heaven, a Japanese princess (yeah, yeah, she has money, but it's not about that) that loses her brother when her arranged marriage in San Francisco is attacked by ninja hired by yakuza. She can't trust her own family and must reach out to an old friend and some new ones in order to survive long enough to avenge her brother's death and fulfill her destiny. Go girl power! Yes, the actress is not Japanese, she's Chinese (that bugs my husband, but that's Hollywood), but she is not afraid to kick some booty. We need more of these types of heroines with great diva shoes and the know-how to wield a sword.