Every year, I go to the Coach store and buy my mother a scarf, or a handbag, or a wallet, or a hat, or a pair of shoes — things she likes, but would never buy for herself. She tells me often that the only nice clothes she owns are the ones I bought for her. This isn’t entirely true. My siblings have given her some lovely things or gifted her with money to buy whatever she wants. But it is true that the two of us have gone shopping together the most.
Did you know that parents have an official day? In the United States, Parents’ Day falls on July 28 this year. But in Korea, Parents’ Day is today. What’s that, you say? You’ve never heard of Parents’ Day? Truth be told, I wasn’t familiar with the day myself. But now that I’m a mom, hey, I’ll take whatever holiday you want to throw my way.
These two little preschoolers have no preconceived notions of who you’re supposed to love. They just know that if you’re very lucky, you get to marry your best friend.
Crouching down in my seat so that he wouldn’t see me cry, I choked out loud sobs that surprised me. I thought about the first time we saw him in Korea, when he was still a baby. I cried for all the losses he’d already suffered before his first bithday. I cried for the years that we had together where the days, at times, seemed tortuously long, but now were flashing by at a speed that startled me. I thought about what it would be like when he went off to college. And I hoped that I wouldn’t die before he grew up to be a man. Clearly, I was having a melodramatic moment.
Our father’s goal in bringing his family from South Korea to the United States was to ensure that his children would receive a good education. He and our mother instilled in us the idea that studying hard would be our ticket to having a better life than they had. And they were right. But while the three of us are well educated, we lack our father’s endless thirst for knowledge.
One day, you and I will argue and you will get angry with me—you may even resent me and wish you had a different mother. Just remember that I let you kick me in the head and chest almost every night that you have been home with us so far. But only because you’re so cute. And even if you ever wish you had a different mother, just know that I will always be so happy and grateful that you are my son. You are my everything.