the little things always, always end up being the big things.

 

It’s my pāpā’s birthday today. He would’ve been 61. He passed away about three years ago, at the end of this month - so we’ll get more into that in a couple weeks, ok? Because when talking about death, we often think of loss, we feel pouri (sadness) our person is no longer here to create memories or reminisce with. So we’re gonna save that for later on in the month haha I’m not joking, but at least you’ve been warned *nervous laugh* ha ha ha. Anyway…

Since it’s his birthday, I thought I’d share some stories of how he’s inspired me - by being particularly good at some of the ‘little things’ in life that, as I’ve grown older, have noticed were actually pretty big things.

My pāpā was a good listener.

Actually, that may be incorrect. He let you vent what you needed to, he nodded and feigned shock and disbelief on queue, if required haha he let you get it out. He didn’t always try to fix the problems I came to him with. He’d let me offload and it was like he knew, I just had to voice it out and I’d be able to come up with the solutions myself.

He was calm. I may have mentioned this before and I swear I’ve improved (a little bit), but I crashed his car.. twice! And both times, he checked on me to make sure I was ok, assessed the damage - never expressed his anger or took it out on me - and followed up his initial check up with a,

“kaua e kī ki a māmā, don’t tell your mum,” and let’s be honest - I was all for that plan lol.

Sometimes I wished he’d be less calm and more bothered or excited about things. I remember when I told him I got invited to an NZ7s camp. He reckons, “ka pai, that’s good” and carried on with what he was doing, like I’d just told him I was picking up some bread from the shop. Actually, ha that probably would’ve got more of a reaction from him - he would’ve added a Whittaker’s almond gold or peanut slab to the order as well.

But when I reflect on it now, he was pretty cool. I’d make representative sports teams, and get awards for whatever over the years and my pāpā never made a huge deal out of it. Not the way he celebrated me learning how to cook poached eggs for the first time, or learning how to back out of the driveway. One of my favourite learnings from my pāpā was,

receiving his love and attention didn’t change, based on what I did, or what I didn’t do.

He noticed the little things. He celebrated them and made them as important as the “big things” that actually aren’t that big of a deal when you get older.

It’s always the little things, done well. Nui te aroha pāpā x

Tēnā tātou,

Hana.