tropical mom: Carey Benander
kids, age: Noah–5, Morgan–3
where do you live on Maui: Pukalani
what are you passionate about: So hard to pick one thing, and it may seem like an odd thing to be “passionate” about, but I think the answer would have to be gratitude. Having the presence of mind to look around and be thankful for what you have, whom you love, where you are. I’ve been very fortunate in my life, but when I held my child for the first time, I really understood what it was to be grateful. He was the best present I ever received. And then I got to have another. Grateful every day.
why did you choose to raise your children on Maui: We wanted outdoor children. I’m hesitant to criticize other people’s parenting styles because parenting is HARD, and I like to believe that at the end of the day we’re all doing the best we can. But we didn’t want our kids forced to stay inside–we wanted active, outdoor children. When our kids come home covered in dirt or with sand ground into their hair or when they dance naked in the rain, I know that’s a great day for them. And here they do it every single day.
what is the best part about being a momma: I had fun before I had children. I knew what fun was. But I laugh and smile now more every day than ever before. As a mom, sometimes I cry, sometimes I look for the closest wall to bang my head against but on a daily basis, I laugh and smile more times than I can count. My children are, naturally, hysterical, but it’s more than that. When you look at this tiny person that you created, and your heart feels so full that you think it might actually burst…how can you not smile?
what’s your favorite thing to do as a family: Has to be a beach day (which is lucky, considering the geography). I’m married to a water baby and currently raising 2 more, so the ocean is the place for us. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around how blessed we are to live in a place that we can go any day to so many amazing beaches. Lucky we live Hawaii, indeed.
how did being a mom change you: The phrase “Having a child changes everything” has always struck me as so trite, but in reality there’s a reason “they” say it. My body, my soul, my freedom, my priorities, my finances, my heart, my compassion, my marriage, my friendships…it’s endless. It would be easier to ask what hasn’t changed…my eyes are still the same color. :)
what is one thing you want to teach your children: I want them to know that they are limitless. I want them never to listen to the voice, be it internal or external, that tells them they are not capable of something. I want them to believe that they are strong, courageous, inspired and more than capable. I want them to know that they are extraordinary. It’s really what I’d want every kid to know.
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