Naomi’s passport, taken when she was 9 months old. She was so short that she had to be propped up on books (with Dad hovering close by in case she tipped over) in order to get her into the field of view of the passport camera.


Naomi as bean

Doing my impression of a lima bean.

Grandma & Grandpa

Smiling at Mom

I was born in the Chinese Year of the Dog, 1982. Grandma and Grandpa came from Hawai‘i to visit. I smiled a lot at Mom and Dad.

  Making a face

I’m either thinking of a way to get out of this tightly wrapped swaddling blanket or doing something interesting in my diaper. Dad quickly learned not to check my diaper by sticking his finger into it.

The first day back from Alta Bates, the hospital where I was born, Dad stuck his finger into my diaper to check on its status, only discover that his finger emerged covered with a newborn’s sticky black tar (myconium?).


Aunty Sarah

With Aunt Sarah.

With Pikake

With Pikake

With Dad’s cat Pikake (Hawaiian for the Chinese Jasmine flower). We were both about the same size (actually Pikake was bigger) for a long time. Pikake lived to the ripe old age of 22 or 23, long enough for me to invent numerous clever ways to pester her for the rest of her life, poor thing.

The name Pikake was created by the last Hawaiian Princess Ka‘iulani, who named her favorite flower, the Chinese jasmine, after her beloved peacocks.

While I was a tiny baby I wasn’t too much of a problem for her (other than the ultra-high-pitched screaming for which I quickly became famous but which I’m sure hurt her ears) but when I was able to crawl and hold myself up it became harder for her to find a place to sleep in peace where I couldn’t reach her.

For nearly two years she found a place of refuge at the rear of the couch. One day, when I found that I couldn’t reach her with my arms while standing at the front of the couch, I crawled back to my bedroom, rummaged through my considerable collection of toys and crawled back to the couch.

Pikake was rudely awakened, was very surprised, and became extremely indignant, when she found herself being poked and prodded — into springing high over the back of the sofa to safety  — with a long, bright-orange plastic carrot.

  Smiling baby Naomi


With Dad

Smiling at Dad

Dad could make me laugh from an early age.

  Mom sleeping

I wore my Mom and Dad out … and still do.


In the bath, Dad would lay me on the blue sponge matress, put a hand towel over me and pour warm water over it. It was so soothing that I would quickly fall fast asleep.