I didn’t know. I didn’t know a great deal of things prior to having children. Mainly, I didn’t know myself, my boundaries, or even how I wanted to raise my children. I wasn’t a planner. I didn’t know I would turn out to be what society is now calling “attachment parenter.” I was just doing what felt natural and almost customary in Asian households. You know, just things as I had seen and experienced growing up.
Nowadays, as I sit through play dates, therapy, and parenting classes, I start learning about what I like and can not tolerate by as an individual, a wife, and a mom. I learn more about who I am and who I refuse to become because the world puts so many pressures on moms these days.
I also realize that I’m no longer a product of my environment because I am now in control of building a healthy, happy, grateful, and loving environment for myself and my family.
People ask me all the time, “how come you aren’t resentful that you’re a single mom half the week and how do you fill the void?” Before I would become defensive and then become bitter towards my husband but now I just explain (if I feel the need) that this is “my” family’s dynamics and we make it work. I realized the more accepting I became of the “now,” I allowed myself to be happier, more content, and more grateful for the life I’ve been given. I choose to not wallow in self-pity or view my life as tormented as I had done in the past because it isn’t. I don’t know if that makes much sense but that’s the essence.
It’s like this. I can be content with the time apart from my husband because my husband supports me in anything I want to do and accomplish. He gives me the tools I need to 1) be a better person to myself which in turn allows me to be a better person to my kids and family and 2) he helped me create the life I’ve always wanted and I realized I only have this one life … And I really really really just want to enjoy it NOW.
I love this picture of O from behind. We went on an impromptu walk to Rite Aid and then on the way back we went to the park. What was supposed to be a quick trip turned into a 4.5 hour excursion. And it was pure bliss. Even with the scorching hot sun. I loved it.
Prior to our departure, I asked O what she would like to wear for our walk. I was thinking shorts and a T-shirt. But nope. Girlfriend said (and yes, she’s been copying me using the word “hey girlfriend… dude girlfriend.” Really, I need to stop talking to her so much… ahahahahahahaha)… “Momma, I need to wear my beautiful, wedding dress for our walk.”
I said, “Boo, we are just going on a quick walk.”
O: But momma, I NEEEEEEEED to wear my wedding dress.
How do you say no? You don’t. Actually, I try not to get too involved in her outfit coordination because it’s a freedom she should own. So even with the crazy hair pins and what not… I try to let it go.
Exhibit #1: See this…done exactly as the boss ordered!!!
Her dad, on the other hand, says… “don’t you think she’ll stick out too much? Draw too much attention and take away from the class?” Ahahahahahahaha. I’m sure she does to a certain degree, but I don’t care. It’s her freedom to express herself.
Anyways, I loved this day. It reminded me of what childhood is all about. To explore. To learn. To live without fear of scrutiny and judgment. I loved that she didn’t care if her pretty dress got dirty. I loved that she let go of her OCD tendencies to not like getting dirty and took her shoes off and ran into the sand. I loved that she looked exhilarated while throwing sand into the air. It was a moment of pure joy. And a reminder of innocence and love. I hope and pray I never forget this feeling.
This kid… she gives me so many gifts daily. Yes, headaches too. But I am so immensely thankful she walked into my life.
Side note: ****And a quick shout out to my sister for stepping up as a Cancer Survivor Mentor!!! Yay. My sis feels embarrassed when I say she’s a survivor. But she is. That’s fact. She down plays her cancer bout because she thinks she had the easy one. No one has an easy battle with cancer. Cancer (that bitch… ) is cancer. I’m so proud of her for becoming a mentor for a young 36 year old woman who is going through her own battle against this A-hole disease. It has spread from her thyroid to her lungs and hips due to improper diagnosis… please keep her in your prayers