Son of Jae

Sometimes I get the best surprises. On Twitter, an artist named Hobi took the time to make these adorable drawings of my son and send them to me. (I am displaying them here with her permission.)

Rap Monster Article & “Friends” Giveaway

This is for the A.R.M.Y! I wanted to do something fun and special for you… and this is my (small) way of thanking you: I am giving away some copies of my newspaper article and a copy of my book about the TV show, “Friends.”

Hanging Onto Childhood “Clutter”

I am an anti-hoarder who has no use for a lot of “things.” But, I will never turn down old family photos. The memories that are tied to them are things that money and “experiences” can’t replace.

When your child “loses”

As we were walking home from school, I listened as some of the children voiced their opinions as to who should (and should not) have been elected to student council. According to my chatty informants, one little girl’s older sister wrote her speech for her. Another boy’s father re-wrote his. Gleefully, they named names. “How do you know this?” I asked. And the kids said that the winners told them so. (You have to love children’s honesty!)

Taekwondo: Kicking, punching, way of life

I’m not delusional enough to think that taekwondo lessons will make my son the victor in a schoolyard brawl. That’s not how “street fights” work. But, I do think that if he fought back, the other child would shed a tear or two, too. And, sometimes, that’s what it takes to make a bully leave you alone. I’m really proud of him for not resorting to violence. But, we have also told him that if he can’t run away from a fight, he should defend himself — and we will defend him.

Chicago (My Kind of Town)

Our kid likes to travel. He has taken high-speed KTX trains in Seoul, played in New York City’s Central Park and fed dolphins in Paradise Island (Bahamas). All of that was amazing. But it’s wonderful having a first-rate destination with skyscapers, museums and all the dining choices right in our own back yard. We’ll be back, Chicago, because we can’t quit you.

And So This Is Christmas

To this day, when I see a bag of M&M’s, it reminds me of a time when it was difficult being the new kid who couldn’t speak English, who had no idea what was going on and who desperately wanted to go back home to Seoul. I hope that Santa enjoys the cookies and M&M’s my son left out for him tonight. And I hope that you all have a very happy holiday season.

Let them be

As I was wiping the polish off my son’s tiny fingernails, I told him that there’s nothing wrong with nail polish on boys or girls, just as there’s nothing wrong with pierced ears (at an appropriate age) on girls or boys. That there is no toy that is the property of one gender, just as there is no career that only boys can do and not girls.

Two Dollars

We were at the store today picking up some groceries. A full cartload, actually. As the cashier was ringing up our items, I looked back to see an elderly gentleman holding just one object: a pie. He wasn’t impatient or annoyed, but I could see that he was tired. There were no other lanes open and I hated the idea of him having to stand there to wait for us.

Kimbap, kimchi and me

My little guy wanted to bring a delicious pork-filled Chinese steamed bun to school for lunch today. I told him no, but I didn’t tell him why. One day, when he’s a little older and less likely to burst into tears if teased, I will let him choose. But, today wasn’t that day.

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