Friday, August 1, 2008

My Hanai Monkey

In Hawaii, there is OHANA which is family. Ohana also means "nobody gets left behind or forgotten". The Lilo and Stitch reference is for Bella who we swear is the personification of Stitch. She has this deep little voice and tends to growl and half the time I just know she is swearing at Lily in an alien language. Now there is traditional Ohana where everyone is family, because let's face it-back in the day there wasn't a whole lot of new blood bein introduced on the itty bitty little island in the middle of the Pacific. And as we have learned- everybody knows everybody or someone's aunty or uncle or cuz. Instead of Mr. or Ms. you refer to "elders" as Aunty or Uncle here. It is also perfectly acceptable for many generations of family or close friends to live together under the same roof and/or raise someone's children. So Hanai loosely translated is "adopted".

We have close friends here who in addition to 6 biological children, have 2 hanai children. Their youngest is 8 years younger than his brother, and was a big surprise. When his mom needed to go back to work, I offered to help out until he could get in their church day program. His name is Keola and he is almost 2. He blends right in to the chaotic scenery we call home. He is my shadow for the time he is here- which is for a few hours 2-3 times a week. If I leave the room, I hear "An Jen! An Jen!" because he hasn't gotten the whole Aunty pronunciation down yet. He, like Bella is just as comfortable naked as anything. I figured I should introduce you to him- as I know he will be involved in many of the stories I will have to tell!!


Roberta said...

I love the blog, the pictures, and I am so happy that you take the time to write. I've always loved your journalistic style. I can't wait to read the newest exerpts. Love, Mom

Amy said...

I did a double take wondering how my youngest ended up at your house! Cutie!