Thursday, October 13, 2011

Time & Tides

Katzu @ Kakela Beach 2006
Katz was two years old in this photo. It was late April 2006 & the weather here in Hawaii had just started getting hot. I remember thinking that the upcoming summer was going to be our last as Mommy & Baby since he would be heading off to pre-school in September. His world would suddenly expand beyond me & mine.

We dropped the older children off at school & then I drove us to Kakela Beach in our red Dodge Intrepid, his heavy car seat wedged between his brother's booster seat & some boxes to mail off. He hated his car seat. Maybe all babies do.

When we got to the beach, I unstrapped him from his car seat watching big brown eyes watching me climb into the backseat to get him.

"Mum." was all he said when he popped his thumb out of his mouth and held his chubby arms up to me.

"I gotcha baby. Hold on just a sec while I get you out."

"Mum"

As I untangled him from the maze of belt straps & buckles, he leaped up from his chair at me & hugged me. His sweet milky breath swept over me. His baby teeth peeking out from his little mouth. I remember that he only rubbed his teeth down with a finger brush & that he has a dental appointment in a few weeks.

Then he started laughing & giggling & pulled my hair.

"Mum!Mum!Mum!"

He insists as I'm sure all small children do, that I give him a piggyback ride to the sand. We head off to the shoreline, with him clinging to my backside & me holding on to his arms wrapped around my neck with one hand & the other gripping our bag of snacks from the gas station.

We make it to the beach, where I promptly drop our bag of snickers, chocolate pudding pies & chips in the sand & gently unwrap my son's arms from around my neck.

"Mum!"

and he toddled off to dig holes in the sand.

By that time, we had spent a 18 months in Speech Therapy with him. We had his pediatrician check him out for medical reasons he might not be speaking. We had specialists check his hearing, his vision, his brain. His speech therapist came once a week, every week until he was 4. She recommended that we learn sign language so we could help him communicate more.

So that's what we did. Armed with books (hello & thank you Sign Language for Dummies!) we learned fundamental sign language so we could help him find his words.

Sleep.
More.
Please.
Thank you.
Milk.
I love you.

Only to come to the conclusion that he didn't talk because he didn't have too.
Katz giving his Shaka sign

There wasn't anything he wanted to say to the world just yet.

Which is interesting since now we can't shut him up. He has something to say to everyone about everything every time all the time. He loves to talk to people. He likes people & parties & playing. He keeps on talking long after we've all stopped wanting to be talked too.

He talks to telemarketers calling to sell us something. Mostly he asks them how they are doing, what do they do, do they have kids, do their kids like trucks & transformers? He talks to wrong numbers. He talks to my sister's boyfriend who lives in another state. He talks to his aunties. He talks to his cousins.

He goes over to visit with all of our neighbors saying Hello to all of them. He knows ALL of our neighbors by first name, occupation, car driven & kids in the house. He's the kind of kid I used to pick on when I was his age. The happy kid on the beat up bike - peddling around the block shouting out Hi Uncle! Hi Aunty! Whatcha got to snack on?

He loves them all & I am always surprised at how loving all of our neighbors are towards him. They welcome him into their homes happily & give him snacks & water & let him play with their kids.
(God please bless them all for being kind to my child!)

He's the last one chosen to give our family prayers because Katz can talk to God for a very long time too (as our aching knees can attest too) and never once repeat himself.

I love all three of my sons deeply & equally but differently.

Katz is my baby, my last gift to the great wide world. He knows no other mother than me. What ever he becomes, I know a very good portion of that is because I've been here.

(Please please please be something good or you're gonna get pops!*smiling*)

I mark the passages of my life by his life. He is Eight years old now. I am Forty years old. He is almost as tall as me. I am almost as short as he is. He likes to tease me and say,"It's okay Mom. I used to be as short as you & look at me now!"

Katz & Mommy
(Never mind that he is at this moment, still shorter than me by 2 inches.)

But he's catching up quickly and more likely than not by next year we'll be eyeball to eyeball. After that, I'll have to tilt my head back to look up at his handsome brown face just like I do now with his brothers who tower over me.

He is the last of my sons to be old enough to tell me not to kiss or hug him at school any more. He happily demonstrated his new I'm all grown up status by sticking his hand out for a handshake instead of giving me quick buss on the check & running into the cafeteria for breakfast.

"Please Mom? Don't kiss me! The girls can see me."
"Oh? As if I care what those stupid girls think. You're my baby!"
"Mom... I'm a ManCat now."

(to which I honestly admit to saying out very loud: ManCat my ass! You're still my baby & even when you're 6'7 inches tall you WILL still be my baby! Even when you get married & have 15 kids, you will still be my baby! Yes yes yes, I can see you shaking your head at me and saying Wow! Samoan Mother much or what?)

Sighs.


I miss the baby he used to be. I'm so very glad that I didn't miss his baby years & that I've been blessed enough to enjoy his childhood years too.

At night, his is the last kiss I get at night. His voice echoing his older brothers.

"Good Night Mommy! Kiss kiss! I love you Mom!"

God is good to me & mine.

I'm so glad that I had the gift of time to give to my children. Time slips away from us so quickly. We are here for a moment & then gone. We spend all of our energy, our being, our time & our love in the pursuit of things. We kill ourselves in the desperate hope of writing our names in stone when in reality if we spent our time on people, investing ourselves in people, giving our selves to people - we could write our names in their hearts & live forever.

Someday, I'm going to not be here in this world. But I know I'll live on in my children when they tell their children about me. That is their gift to me. I won't be forgotten.

Things & money & stuff we possess can be replaced. Time we spend on our families & those we love - can not be.We can't wait for a perfect day or a perfect time or even at that - wait for that time when we have more time to love our families & our friends. We only have right now to savor the deliciousness of the people in our lives..

I love you Katz! I love you Taf! I love you Sim!

With love & more delicious love~
Cy.

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