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Our family has made quite a few major moves these past seven years. When parenthood was looking more likely for Ben and me, we decided to move to one of three states where we would have legal status as a married couple — that was just seven years ago!

Soon after we moved, Ben received a wonderful offer to teach at a university in Germany. Having just begun a new job in New Hampshire, I stayed behind. Ben visited on holidays. During one of those, we learned of Ellen’s extra chromosome. After she was born, we decided all three of us needed to be together. Ellen and I moved to Bonn.

For many reasons I will write about in postings down the road, after about a year we realized Germany would not be right for Ellen. We moved to a Quaker learning community in Iowa. It was the right decision. Then, crazy me, I found out about a job opportunity in  Hawaii, a place I had fallen in love with a few decades before when I had flown to the state (from Austria where I was living — sorry if this is confusing) to play in a small tennis tournament and spend 10 glorious days of vacation.

Hawaii never left my bones. Moving from Iowa seemed impossible, but we did, and every day still seems like I’m waking up in a dream. At the same time, for reasons I have not yet figured out, it also feels like I’ve been here a long time.

We still have not completely unpacked, even after two years. I recently opened up a box and discover something I forgot I had, including this poem I had written before Ellen was born. Like all my poems, and like me, it’s still a work in progress.


The Wish Child

Why am I needing a decision?
Is my vision for a family to call my own
too clear or bleared?

I expect neither a crown prince
nor an heiress apparent,
only a happy child and a few miracles
like a book with no hard conclusions
but a promise of happy endings
and a storyline gently styled.