Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Missing :: Part Two

Missing :: Part One

I remember thinking how big, and mature William was... let's see... seven years ago. He was tall, mature, serious. He was also very young... not yet fourteen. It's interesting how well I knew him, and how consistent my impressions of him were, with who he is now. He is still mature, serious, sensitive to the concerns of others. He still has a laugh that makes me happy just to hear it.

We enjoyed our first visit back to the farm acres in Kalopa. It smells beautiful there, like coffee flowers, and rainfall. The air is sweet, and always on the move.

Back in Kona, I borrowed a vehicle from Ruth and Corm... Tutu, Hawaiian Grandma, and Corm. Tutu drove herself in to work, and Corm rode his bicycle to work. The boys and I made daily excursions into Kailua, to beaches, and smaller towns up the mountain.

Here is Max in Kailua-Kona, at the Queen's Palace or Hulihe`e Palace. This link gives a nice description of its history.
We like to go there for
1. the bathroom,
2. the quiet retreat from busy Ali`i Drive, and
3. to feed the fish.

Can you tell Max is happy about feeding the fish?

I believe the pond was created as a kind of private fishing hole for the royals, who liked to vacation at the Palace. It gets hot in Kona... I always wish I could just take a leisurely dip in this fishing hole, but I am pretty sure that would be kapu.

Turkeys are exempt from kapu or any kind of trespassing laws. These wild turkeys were crisscrossing Tutu and Corm's yard all the time, and even though they were comfortable doing so, they did move faster when I tried to take their picture. I have video of them doing their gobble-gobble-gobble, and you can hear the boys laughing in amazement, because I demonstrated for them how to get the Tom to open his tail feathers and reply to my own gobble-gobble-gobble. Yes, I do posses sweet skills.

Higashihara Park, on the Kuakini Highway. Is there any need to say how much the boys love this park? It's all over their faces. I have written about this kid-designed, community built park before.

If you cannot get to Hawaii, and Higashihara Park, look for other amazing kid-designed and community built playground's, like Santa Barbara's Alameda Park! They are fantastic!

I called them WAM. I still do. And also WAMMO, when their sister is in the picture.

Max, five years old. This was an interesting year. And by interesting I mean hard, as we learned to understand new phases and challenges of life with Asperger's Syndrome. I cannot say I am thankful for Asperger's, but it is, strangely, part of Max, an aspect of who he is, and so I am thankful we have had the love and determination to unravel its mysteries, and come to know Max, and be able to connect with him. Those challenges we meet give us a greater appreciation for Max and how wonderful he is.

Those cheeks! Those rosy-rosy Alex cheeks! Oh, mama! This kid was cute. He still is, but now he's so tall I can barely reach those cheeks!

From the park, we continued up and round the highway, and I let them have vacation grinds. We stopped at a mini market in Kainaliu, and I granted them that most coveted opportunity: Choose whatever you want! We sat on the sidewalk in front of the Oshima store, and they enjoyed cheese crackers and chocolate milk. Ono... absolutely delicious!

Then we walked around some more, and we visited the kitties at the Aloha Angel Cafe. Oh, so sad... it seems the cafe is closed now. I wonder about the theater...

I wonder about all the popoki. Who is taking care of them?

One more stop... we left Mamalahoa Highway, and took the makai highway, 160, down to see the surf in Kealakekua Bay. And on the way, we stopped and met a crocagator.

Max and the crocagator, also known as a Lady Jackson chameleon. But we like how the local brudda told the story.

Lady Jackson's owner described how easy these little crocagators are to care for, because all you have to do is leave a light on at night, which attracts all kinds of dinner to her home! Plenty of insects for feeding a crocagator in Hawaii!

She really was a sweet chameleon. Her owner was sweet too and he was more than happy to give everyone a turn to visit with Lady Jackson. Her color and patterns changed as she moved, or when her mood changed. It was really cool watching her move too. She was mellow.

She was grinning.

Yes. Yes, I have ever since seriously considered getting a pet chameleon. I would for sure have a crocagator if we were living in Hawaii.

Come on... it's like a featherless chicken! Just kidding. They're like hairless rats, but not as hyper.

Aloha Lady Jackson.

Tomorrow: Part Three... making fish and luxury living.


judy in ky said...

I would like to move to Hawaii and take care of the popoki there.

Alison said...

Oh my, you are making me nostalgic for a place I've never been and children I've never met! That must mean you have evocative writing skills.

Have I mentioned that my dear nephew has Aspergers? And he's a vibrant, fascinating, stupendously perceptive boy when he's "balanced." I look forward to watching him grow into an adult.

Anonymous said...

Sigh... I miss the Big Island.

Random said...

Your blog is filled with things that are amazing today! I love the kid-designed, community-built playgrounds (we had just such a playground in a community where I lived part-time during my undergraduate years; it was always filled with people of all ages). And the chameleon. I have a soft spot in my heart for reptiles of all kinds, and especially this one with its big goggle eyes.

I should add, too, that I have Asperger's Syndrome as well, a topic that has arisen surprisingly often over the past couple of days. Let me just say, from the perspective of "this side of the fence," that your home must be (from everything I have seen of it on your blog) an incredible one to grow up in. I envy your son.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful trip. Your children are so beautiful. I love their smiles. I know boys probably wouldn't love being called beautiful : ) Don't tell them I said it! Really fantastic post!

Jennifer said...

I am SO enjoying this look back, loving your ability to see it through the eyes of now; despite the inherent sadness, remembering and celebrating the joys....

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Jennifer... thank you. It's been bittersweet, and mostly a nice distraction from the flu and bronchitis reality we are living presently.

Life with Kaishon... welcome to Chickenblog, and thank you for commenting. It was a wonderful trip, and it's nice looking back on it, recalling some sweet memories. I hope you will return to Chickenblog. I will certainly be visiting your blog, which is looks lovely btw. Aloha!

Random... your comment touched me deeply. Isn't it amazing to discover connections and things we share in common? I love that you found so much to enjoy and recognize in this post. And I really appreciate you sharing your perspective about living with AS... how things are from your side of the fence. Your comment made me cry, because I really appreciate that you are doing so well in life, and because you made such a nice remark about how we are managing here in our home. We still have our struggles and challenges, at times making us feel alone and uncertain. I cannot thank you enough for your words... they really lift me up.

Anonymous... Aloha goes where you go.

Flartus...thank you Flartus! For your kindness and for sharing about your nephew. I am happy for him, that he has you, who appreciates him and looks forward to witnessing his life. You are so right about the *balance* and it helps us all.

Judy... imagine if you could bring all of your popoki with you! Your snow kitties would be astonished at feeling the warm Islands and your constant aloha! They at least have your aloha for now.