I see him everywhere

image from blogs.phillymag.com

I had been composing a blog in my mind while pruning the branches of my weeping cherry tree, a blog about white privilege  and all the cross-cutural training I've received through the years from Universities, scripture, the organization I work with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship or being willing to engage in difficult conversations about ethnicity with friends who look different than me. It was a blog that was going to explore the privileges I have simply because I'm white- even something s … [Read more...]

Culture and Justice: Or Why Paula Deen Shouldn’t Use the “N” Word

I feel sorry for Paula Deen.  She's lost her job, her endorsements, her status in our society (for now), and all for saying words that were an almost thoughtless reality of her culture  during much of her life.  She's probably wondering when folks changed the rules.   How something "everyone says" could destroy her career.I can empathize with Paula because I care a lot about culture.  During grad school, my advisor told me I was a cultural phenomenologist.  Too bad I still don’t totally k … [Read more...]

If You’re Sending Your Kid to Spain, Don’t Do it My Way

Several nights ago I woke up in a panic about sending my daughter to Spain for a month long study abroad program.  “What kind of foolish, irresponsible parent am I?” I berated myself as I lay in bed fretting and intermittently praying for the next hours.  We’ve been planning this trip since the middle of spring, but somehow I never realized that she’s potentially the only high school student in this program.  Nor did I realize she’d be living in dorms rather than with a host family.I’m sendin … [Read more...]

Teaching our Kids to Swim

lina and kai

On Saturday, a high school boy almost drowned in our pool.  He didn’t know how to swim, didn’t tell anyone, so when a friend pushed him in the water, began to thrash and sink.  As he struggled, it took the other kids 10 seconds before they realized he was drowning and pulled him out.As I write, a gaggle of kids swims again—it’s the last day of school and a humid 85 degrees.  And therefore the perfect time to preach on one of my most fervent parenting proscriptions—TEACH YOUR KID TO SWIM! … [Read more...]

High School Reunion Tips


A friend quoted another friend: “I’m in touch with who I want to be in touch with, so why should I do reunions?” As I attended various events for my 30th high school reunion, I kept thinking about his words.  Because I’m the complete opposite.  I don’t keep in touch with who I want to be in touch with, and that’s why it was good to fly 6000 miles and reacquaint myself with the Punahou class of 1983.On one hand, I do keep in touch.  The nature of my work in campus ministry calls for communicat … [Read more...]

Boy No More

IMG_1695 - Version 2

Last week Ren, my son and youngest child, turned 13, promoting me to Mom of 3 official teenagers.  Wah!  So often, older folks commented while I juggled 3 young kids, “Enjoy it while it lasts--the time goes so fast—in a blink of an eye they’ll be grown.”  I’m feeling that blink of an eye.Years ago, during my own teenagerhood, I gave my friend Jeff a lei, kissed his cheek, thought “Wow, what a smooth soft cheek,” and immediately mourned that it wouldn’t be long before that smooth cheek became … [Read more...]

High School Reunion Jitters

In a week I fly to Hawaii for my 30th Punahou high school reunion.And I’m mildly terrified.I haven’t been to a high school reunion since our unofficial “4 year” reunion—one thrown while most of us were seniors in college, home for Christmas, and someone figured there was a better chance of getting a good number then than at our 5th year reunion when many of us would actually have jobs and only 2 weeks of vacation/year.Why haven’t I gone back all these years?Money:  It’s darn expe … [Read more...]

Why I Want My Kids to “Party” More


If I do say so myself, I just threw Ling a bang-up 17th birthday party.  Despite being a high introvert who often likes quieter gatherings, she wanted to invite 20 some kids.  (A benefit of hanging out with Asians is we “clump,” which means if you hang out with us long enough, you’ll automatically be included.  The downside?  You can’t exclude anyone without hurting feelings.  Hence 20 some kids.)“We can’t fit 20 kids in our house for 5 hours,” was my first response.  But I was determined to … [Read more...]