Small Talk

Conversations from a bed in Charleston

March 15th, 2013

Having a kid spins your sense of time in a totally different way. Time becomes an enemy. I know this because I experienced the first panic attack of time slipping when Olivia was born. It was in South Carolina I was reminded again.

Our room at The Cabell House

Our room at The Cabell House

We were winding down the day and lying in our big, cozy king bed. I don't remember exactly what we were talking about, but I said to her, “I worry about you all the time."

"I worry about you, too," she answered. Wow, really? I wondered what a five year old could possibly worry about.

“You dying. Me being taken from you,” she said.

From the mouth of babes! I felt so guilty because I'm sure I, more than anyone else, has given her those fears. I’ve conveyed it in a thousand warnings not to do this or touch that, and to stay away from strangers. Poor girl! Her biggest worry should really only be what to bring for Show & Tell or how to share toys!

“Oh, Honey. I’m not intending to die any time soon. I want to be around for you, too,” I said.

Olivia looked so relieved and happy and threw her little arms around my neck. She gave me a long, hard hug.

We touch all the time. We hold hands and embrace constantly, but this was a different hug. It was a deep, meaningful, relieved hug, and it melted me. “I love you, Mommy,” she said finally.

Sometimes, I wish she could always be five and I could always be the magical Mommy with all the answers. I hope she doesn't grow up and stop wanting to throw her arms around my neck.

6 Responses to “Conversations from a bed in Charleston”

  1. kuunakanaka:

    aloha Diane:

    our children will remember the "Kodak moments" with their mom and dad.

  2. Ken Conklin:

    Diane, you will want to record the annual Kamehameha Schools Song Contest this Friday night on KGBM TV 6:30-10:00 PM (allow possible overrun to 10:30). The theme is "He lei poina'ole ke keiki" [A child is an unforgettable lei]. As you may know, the word "lei" all by itself is sometimes used to mean "child" because of the fact that a child will hold on to a parent with arms around the parent's neck, thus resembling a lei. Also, many leis are made with flowers, and the word for "flower" is "pua" which is also used sometimes to mean "child" because a child is the flower that blossoms from the love between the parents. Lots of deep meanings in Hawaiian language, as usual.

    One nice thing about Song Contest is that they always print a program with side-by-side Hawaiian/English. If you phone the school they might mail you this year's program. When I first came to live permanently in Hawaii in 1992, I was very lucky to be given a ticket to attend the 1993 Song Contest, and got a program while there. I also recorded the broadcast on my VCR. And that's one of the ways I learned the language -- I selected a song, memorized the Hawaiian, understood it because of the English in the program, and then practiced singing along with the kids from the videotape until I was able to keep up with them without error while also understanding what the words were saying. Then did it with another song. Etc. Every year the broadcast includes a TV commentator who will briefly explain the history and significance of each song.

  3. Diane Ako:

    Ken, That's so sweet, thank you for that idea.

  4. sven:

    Love all the stories, keep um coming!

  5. Manoa Mist:

    Ken Conklin saying something nice about Kamehameha Schools? I guess there really is a Geico pig up there flying in the sky.

  6. Diane Ako:

    Manoa Mist, Oh, come now! Let's be nice.

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