children, education, parenting, prizegiving

More Ways to Embarrass Your Children

                       No event is complete without lots of these...
 Big Son is getting a prize at his Senior Prizegiving this week. He thinks it’s either the History Prize. Or the award for First in his class. Or both. I said it might be for ‘The Boy Who looks in the mirror the mostest.’ Or, ‘The Boy who has the nastiest, messiest bedroom BUT still manages to be lauded as best dressed among all his peers.’ Or ‘The Boy who takes an hour to wash the dishes because he’s listening to his iPod and dancing at the same time.’ He rolled his eyes and said, ‘No Mum , whatever!’

We are very proud of Big Son, especially considering that we only moved to New Zealand ten months ago and school has been one big journey of new things, new people, new subjects and more. I’m excited and I may have gotten a little carried away…

“I’m so proud of you son. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to make you some flower leis to put on you when you get your prize.”

Look of horror. “No mum, you can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because nobody else’s parents do that.”

“How do you know? This is your first ever prizegiving in New Zealand. Besides, who cares what other parents do?”

” I do.” He furiously texts his friends. Then triumphant. “See my friend David said nobody does that at prizegiving. You can’t.”

“Excuse me? This is a tradition. A cultural and a family tradition. I always make you a flower lei when you get an award  at prizegiving. I don’t care if nobody else does it. I’m going to.Is David getting a prize?”


“Good, then I’ll make him a flower lei too. And that beautiful girlfriend of yours who’s singing a solo at prizegiving? I’m going to make her a flower lei too.”

Big Son looks like he’s going to throw up. Faint. Run away from home. Doesn’t he know me by now? Never tell a psycho mother that she CAN”T do something just because ‘nobody else’s mum does that.’ I’m on a roll  “And while I’m at it, I might make one for the Principal. And your teacher. That way we’re sharing the Samoan cultural love, giving everyone a taste of Pacific prizegiving traditions AND that way, you won’t be the only one. And when I come up on the stage, I might sing a song, CHOO HOO! Do a little siva dancing. Kiss you on both cheeks. Oh it’s going to be so much fun…”

Big Son gives up trying to change my mind and skulks off to his pit of darkness bedroom. Leaving me chuckling at my own deviousness.

And then I walk outside into my NZ backyard. Sh**. I forgot. Unlike back home in Samoa, we now have a garden with not a single flowering bush or tree. Just weeds and tangles as far as the eye can see. Where am I going to get buckets of flowers from anyway? I don’t have trillions to waste buying them from the florist. And I hate lolly leis. They are sooo plastic, not to mention unhealthy…

Oh well. I can be enterprising and Martha-Stewart creative. Big Son may end up having leis made of grass. He’s reeeally going to make a lasting impression at prizegiving.

11 thoughts on “More Ways to Embarrass Your Children”

  1. Hahaha! I love it! My mom used to wait at my locker after class in eighth grade if she needed to tell me something. She hugged and kissed me right there, too. Honestly, I loved it! Affection is a big part of our family culture, and I'm planning on doing the exact same thing with mine ;)! You go, awesome mama! He'll love you for it!!

  2. LOL! Lani, you take the cake @ "never tell a psycho mother that she can't do something just because 'nobody else's mum does that'." I love learning all this stuff now in prep for when my mischief maker gets older. And I can proudly say – I learn't from some of the best! HEHE.

  3. Yup, you go to that Prizegiving and choo hoo all you want. I'm sure Big Son loves your efforts even if he acts horrified. At least he will always know his mum is proud of him. btw We are Poly's. I'm sure we could figure out a grass lei! If not you could throw grass confetti. LOL

  4. Love it! We do the same for my nephews and nieces in West Jordan. Your story reminds me of one of my youngest nephews when he was in 1st grade. The only Poly kid and he was a head taller than everyone in the class. The class had awards for 1st grade completion. Only the parents of each kid and maybe a grandparent were there to see their 1st graders. My nephew, however had a whole cheering squad. His parents, my sister and her 3 kids, me, my brother, another sister. We made candy leis cause you know at that age, they love the candy leis. Well each kid was announced and they went up to receive their certificate, took a pic with teacher and parents, that's it. Well when this nephew of mine was called and his last name starts with an A so it was one of the first kids, we acted like he won the superbowl. We clapped and cheered for him and gave him 10 leis. One lei was of bongoes. Ah I laugh at the memory now. The look on the faces of the other palagi parents was priceless.They were all stunned and in awe. My nephew sat their proudly his head barely sticking above the candy leis beaming from ear to ear b/c he knew he was different from the rest of the blue eyed blondes in the room.After it was over he came over and said to us, "I was the coolest one today!" hi-5 nephew!He shared his lei's with each of his classmates and teacher. That's the kind of kid he is. thanks for sharing Lani! hope to meet you next week!

  5. WAHAHAHAHA!! ROTFL – perfect! Isn't that what parents are supposed to do?!?! I can't wait…please take tons of pictures! And congrats to Big Son on doing so well – woot woot!

  6. Hi Lani,Your posts definitely made me smile so I'm leaving you a comment and will also add your blog to my blogroll at admit I haven't read any of your books yet but I look forward to reading the first installment in our YA series and ordering it for our library system. Glad I stumbled across your blog!

  7. How did the prizegiving go? Did you manage to find enough flowers (without having to sell a child lol) to make enough lei's? Congrats to your son – def something to be VERY PROUD OF!!

  8. This is wonderful. My first time here, but I will be back. Love that you were going to make leis for everyone. Why not? Sure, your son might be embarrassed by the thought of it, but if someone made me a lei I'd wear it proudly. He will remember this gesture when he's grown and adore you for it!

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