Category Archives: Parenting/Parenthood

Seeing You Off

The final passage, remembering the woman whom you’d come to know, as your, mother-in-law, from your father-in-law’s second marriage, translated…

Sitting silent, in the back of the church, on the wooden bench, stared at the white coffin, paved with flowers in the shrine, hearing the pastor slowly, told of your, eighty-two years of colorful life; as the pastor described you as being straightforward, generous, it’d, made me cry, and I’d, lifted up my head and smiled, started recalling the thirteen years of friendships we’d, come to share in life.

It was a snowy day in April in Norway, my husband who’d, planned to be single for the res of his life, drove me in his car, and, came to your door, my father-in-law, and his second wife, you, immediately led us in, and, in a panic, started, preparing the snacks, the coffees to serve to me, an unwelcomed guest.  Back then I wasn’t, fluent in Norwegian, I’d spoken in fluent German with my father-in-law, and, it’d, made you, who lived in the U.S. for over a decade object, that you had difficulties understanding us, and, we’d, realized that we had, excluded you, and immediately, we’d, both started switching to talking in English then.

On Christmas Eve that first year of our marriage, you’d, burst the hopes of your three daughters, sons-in-law, and nine grandchildren’s dreams of family union, you’d come to our home, and, baked for us, the traditional Norwegian pork ribs, meat balls, and sausages, and prepared seven types of pastries.  And, as lucky as I in the first time, I’d, scooped up, the only almond, hidden inside the rice pudding, and received, that special award for piggy almond candy.  Underneath the Christmas tree with the Norwegian flag, were the gifts, stacked up, you, my father-in-law, my husband and I, the four of us, sat around the tree, and started, tearing open the presents, the excitement, the joys, it’d, filled up the house.

The summer that my mother, second aunt, and nephew visited Norway, you’d not just, invited them, you’d also, found your youngest who’s my age, along with your young granddaughter, who’s around the same age as my nephew as company, you’d, set up a wooden board in your yard, with the balloons, and started, shooting the darts.  And even though, it’d rained that day, we’d, still, had a ton of fun; to this very day, my mother still talked of the cherries, the raspberries, and currants you grew in your own yard.

On your seventy-fifth, because your body was, ailing, you’d, delayed your birthday celebration in May, but you’d, not told us flat out, only asked, if we’re available to show up in June.  And, as my husband and I arrived, I’d found, that it was, a family birthday celebration your daughter, son-in-law, and grandson had set up for you; we’d, not brought anything, and we were, embarrassed, but you’d laughed and told, that it was because you didn’t want any presents, that was why, you’d, not told us it was to celebrate your birthday.

illustration from UDN.com圖/錢錢

2017 was, especially cruel to you.  First, your best friend who lived in the U.S. died in the spring at the age of over ninety, several months later, it was, my father-in-law, the second love of your life, passed away, in the autumn.  On the evening my father-in-law passed, you, me, and my husband, the three of us, stayed close by his side, until he’d, swallowed his, last breath.  You’d, dragged your, deteriorated health, your, slow steps home; the following day, we took you to the funeral home, to set up my father-in-law’s final affairs, you’d spoken of how you’d, not slept through the night, that you’d, paced around in the living room; even as your kids and grandkids were there, to accompany you, it still, didn’t, take away from your losing your husband.

Within two years after my father-in-law’s funeral, I sat here, in this, same church, heard the same pastor, hosting your funeral.  This pastor was the one who’d, conducted the wedding ceremony of you and my father-in-law thirty years back, he’d retired since, but, two years ago, he’d, made an exception for my father-in-law, spoken on his funeral, and this time, for you too.  You marrying my father-in-law, had once cast a huge shadow for my husband’s not introducing me to his own mother, but, for the eighteen years, the three of you had, died, and all the displeases of the past are now, gone, with the wind.  I’d heard of the news of your death as I’d returned from Egypt, I’d, come, to see you off, I’m so grateful for your kindness toward me, even more grateful, that you were, a “stand-in mother-in-law” to me, giving my families and I, such, wonderful, memories.

And so, this, is on how strong the connections of strangers who became, families are, and this still just showed, how if you’re kind to your daughters or sons-in-law, they will, reciprocate, and love you like you were, their own, parents too.  This is quite rare, to see a stepmother-in-law and a daughter-in-law get along so very well together.

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Filed under Connections, Expectations, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Friendships, Lessons, Letting Go, Marriages, Memories Shared, Observations, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Story-Telling, the Finality of Life, Values

The Air, My Friend

The column by Jimi Liao, translated by me…

The child to the sloth, or, the sloth, to the child…

Let’s take it slow now…………

No matter how quickly the world changes………

Let’s just, take it slow……………

No matter, how worked up others are around us………

We will, continue to, take it slow together………

One day…

Someone will, finally, get us………

Understanding, that slower is faster……

We’re in no rush……………

Slowly, slowly, slower, slower………………

And this, would be how hard you’re all, PUSHING your children, to catch up to your tempos or paces, and by doing that, you’d, deprived your young, of taking their times, to grow UP slow, at their own paces, and, at the same time, you’d, SLAUGHTERED your young children like P-I-G-S, depriving them, of a happy, AND carefree childhood!

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Filed under Awareness, Bad Behaviors, Bad Parenting Behaviors, Being Exposed, Child Development/Education of Children, Childhood, Growing Up Too Fast, Interactions Shared with the World, Kids Raising Kids, Lessons, Losing Sight of What's Important, Messed Up Values, My Thoughts on Various Issues, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Problems with Grown-Ups, Properties of Life, Story-Telling, Things Left Behind, Translated Work, Wake Up Calls

She Was Mine, a Child, Lost in Time…

She was mine, a child, lost in time, and time has, its, death-grip around her throat, slowly, suffocating her, choking her, into that slow death.

She was mine, a child, lost in time, the one who’d, never had the chance of being “formed”, and yet, I still, loved (in the past), love (in the present tense!) her so very much, simply because, she was, mine, and there need not be, any other reasons.

She was mine, a child, lost in time, and, she’d, drowned slowly, in the river of time, and, there was, nothing I could do, but to, kneel by the riverbeds, and cried all my tears, and my tears, in turn, formed another, grander river, then the river of time, my child had been, drowned to death in.

She was mine, a child, lost in time, the one who’d, never made it, the one who’d been dead, way before her time! And, there was still, NOTHING I could’ve done, or can do about this death that I’d been carrying, since 2008………

She was mine, a child, lost in time, and, in lost time’s embrace, I know, she’ll, grow up safe and sound, and besides, it’s better, that my daughter stays DEAD, because this world is so full of FUCKING shit, and I surely as HELL wouldn’t want what had happened to me, to happen to her too!

She was mine, a child, lost in time, and, time shall, keep her safe and sound, untouched, and, she wouldn’t lose her innocence as I did, when I was, a very young child myself………

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Filed under Abuse, Awareness, Basic Human Rights, Because of Love, Cause & Effect, Choices, Death by Negligence, Domestic Violence, Early Exposures, Getting Exposed Too Young, Growing Up Too Fast, Lives Lost, Love Became Murder, Parenting/Parenthood, Philosophies of Life, Rationalization, Reality Clashes with Dreams, Things Left Behind, White Picket Fence

Using the Soaps with the Idols to Teach the Children, on Parent-Child Relations

The parents need to think hard, on WHY it is, that the kids wouldn’t DARE tell them something that’s important that’s happened with them, what this mother learned, from the soap operas, translated…

A short while ago, my daughter and I got into a soap with the idols, with a scene where the female main character accidentally lost the bracelet that was given to her by her fiancée’s grandmother, although she’d found one that looked like it online, but it’d cost $200,000. And, she was pressed for the time to get it, and she saw an ad posted by loan sharks, and called in for the amount to buy the bracelet. In order to pay up the debts, she’d started part-timing like crazy after her regular job, and, other than stressing herself out, she’d started playing that game of spies with her families too.

As I’d watched, I’d frowned, asked my daughter, “Do you think she’d handled it well?” “She needed to take responsibilities for her own losing that bracelet!” “Or perhaps, she could go to her families to discuss the matter.” “She’s not a mama’s girl, she’s already working, and, if she’d told her families, her families will probably, grill her for being careless and stupid!” “Family will always be your pillar of support, and even if her family members scolded her, it’s from the perspectives of care and concerns! Being truthful with the family, that, is showing trust to one another, and, after you’d lied once, you’d needed to, make up even more lies to cover them all up, how tiring would that be, can you imagine?”

On that day, I saw a note on the entrance at our house by my daughter, she’d come clean, that she’d lost the cell phone I gave to her two days ago at cram school. She was flustered and scared, and didn’t dare to tell me, but after she’d seen the conversations of the woman in the soap, she’d, decided to, admit to her own mistakes, and reported her cell phone missing to the police already, and stopped the services.

As my daughter came home, and mentioned what happened to me, she’d started crying, and, she must’ve been feeling so bad these past couple of days. I think, perhaps, there’s, that fragile heart that’s, underneath the seemingly tough exteriors, that are, in need of the families’ love and support.

And, from this, it’d, reminded me, that it is truly difficult, balancing between the disciplining and loving our own young. The kind of education I’d received from my own parents are, “the more harshly we’d treated you, it’d showed how much we cared for you”, and, I’d been, quite strict with my children, and, had I know about this as it’d just happened, naturally, I would’ve, blown up, and not only that, I’d, probably, nagged my daughter about it incessantly too, it’s a wonder, that she’d not dared tell me what had happened, right after it’d, happened. Thankfully, my daughter listened to what I’d, told her, and, that soap opera, became, the role model for us both accidentally.

And so, this still showed, how there’s a lesson to learn everywhere, so long as, you’re willing to, keep your minds open, and take the lessons that the world is, teaching to you.

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Filed under Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Lessons, Life, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

Watching You Leave, the Thoughts of a Mother

Translated…

On Sunday evening, my daughter with her huge backpack, is headed to her grandparents’ house, I’d sent her off by the door, and, nagged on how she’d not put her shoes on right, she’d mumbled back, “I’ll put it on properly in the elevator!”, I’d insisted that she was to, put her shoes on properly before she leaves, she’d, bent down, redid her laces with that unwillingness, and, I’d had, a few extra seconds, to stare at her.

Since a decade ago, my spouse’s name was stricken off my national identification card, I’d lost the days of accompanying her by the day, and only on the weekends, did we get time together to share. Every Friday evening, I’d, rushed off work, road across the city, to a kindergarten, to pick her up and, my daughter curled underneath the lamplight of the kindergarten, with her accompanying bunny, and, her eyes and smiles, turned into the stars in the skies the moment she saw me. Several years passed by, it’s now, that young woman who’d taken the MRT, the bus, to my place.

As the elevator headed downstairs slowly, I’d calculated the timing just right, went to the lanai to look, the red-topped bus slowly came close, and stopped, right underneath the bus stop; my daughter was sitting in it, her huge white backpack on her legs, with her eyes, staring up ahead, lips slightly curled upward. The autumn sun was eye catching, and, being able to travel on her own makes her excited.

Very long ago, I too, watched the bus as it sped off into the distance, imagined my own sunny and bright futures too, filled with a ton of dreams, embracing the impossibilities of life. back then, I’d never imagined, that in an unknown corner, there it was, my mother, with her tears, staring at the direction I left in.

And now, I’d become, an adolescent’s mother too, and, the once-a-week that we’d met, was what was left for me to take with in this richness of her youthfulness, but, became an aging life’s extravagance. The social media, the pop music, the trending novels, there is, no boundaries, in the world of a teenage girl, and all I could do, was smile by her side and accompany her, but I’d still, cherished the time we spent together.

not my photo…

I know, that one day, she will eventually own her own universe, write her own stories, and that I can’t, keep her all to myself. That mother was only a caretaker when she was younger, but not the one who’d owned her for this life, when she has the ability, to spread her wings and fly, or resting, on that tree on her own, she wouldn’t allow me to groom her, to smooth her feathers anymore, just as back then I’d left my own home too, although I’d bumped and fell, I’d never turned back toward my mother, and ask her to give me a hand.

And still, not butting into her life doesn’t mean that she’s not occupying my mind. After I’d lived alone for a bit, I read the words my mother wrote, “You will always be my child.”, no matter how bad life got, how awful living is, the mother will always recognize her own young; no matter how far you fly, the mother’s gazes will always be like that string connecting to the kite, glued, to the child’s body, hung there, not pulling the child down, close knit, but never broken off.

Right now, the bus my daughter rode is probably at the MRT station now. She’d, scanned her pass, and standing inside the trains, her feet, tapping to the music, reading through her book, an hour later, she will, arrive at her destination, happy, and safe and sound.

The thoughts of a mother, she’d watched her child come and go, from her place back to her husband’s home, and, she knew, that she needed to, let her daughter go, and the child is growing into a beautiful woman, and, she felt sad, because of how her daughter will eventually, spread her wings and fly, but that’s a part of what parents must face, because children WILL grow up, whether or NOT we want them to!!!

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Filed under Letting Go, Life, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Values

Eyes, a Poem

Translated…

Your eyes

Are the lights from the crevasse of darkness

Every single hard-to-define question

Floated, in the light

Toward the world, don’t understand it too soon

Touch the wind with your hands

Allow the grasses to get on your fingertips

Allow the dews to get on your lashes

Open up your eyes, the world is

Your toy tray

This, is corn, that, turnip

A green worm had come to visit us

The ants marched across here too

This, is grandma, that, grandpa

There’s a yellow garbage truck

It took with it, the tired sun

As the night falls

The black drapes turned off the lights

The sleepy little eyes looked up at me curiously

Yes child, this, is mommy’s eyes

There’s still a bit of light in them, let’s wait

For the light, to dim together, wait until the world had lost its meaning

When we wake to the sun tomorrow

The sun will bring us, brand new toys

This, is a mother, teaching a child about the world, and, by exposing her daughter/son to this brand new world that s/he had been born in, the mother is making sure, that the child has a very enriching experience in life.

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Filed under Life, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization

Parents Who are Open, Granting a Future of Possibilities for Their Young

The KEY determinant here, is still the attitudes of the parents, written by a school principal, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

As I’d held the meetings with the teachers, the first grade instructor said, “I’d used a lot of time away from class to teach Shih-Shin Chinese characters, but, as I’d turned around, he’d forgotten, I feel so beaten by this”.  I’d told her, “he’s a special needs student, there are bound to be things that happen with teaching him.”, another teacher next to me stated, “He has beautiful handwriting, an excellent artist too.”

My eyes became bright, I’d told everybody, “I’d discovered, that Hong-Hong too, is excellent in art as well.”  Hong-Hong was one of those kids who were often kept after school, to finish up his assignments; last year, for Teacher’s Day, the third grade class drew a ton of beautiful pictures, that amazed us all.

In teaching, the teachers might focus on the grades of the academic subjects such as Chinese, math, science, social studies, but ignored how the child is intelligent, and, there are even MORE teachers and parents who would restrict the child from exercising her/his other talents, because the child didn’t do well in the academia, this sort of belief of how “the scholastics will rule” is often killing the children’s areas of talent, and it’d prevented the child from developing her/his other areas of abilities as well.

Many years ago, a parent told me, when they’d taken the child to sing karaoke, she was surprised at how her daughter could sing all the songs, she’d seen her daughter, hitting the books, she wonders, when her daughter had picked up on the music; that year, the child got into an all-girl’s high school, and is now, a middle school teacher.  My friend’s older sister’s son, when he was back in the third grade, couldn’t figure out what five plus three is, and now, he works in the finances, and gold investments.  Bo-Yen loved researching birds, on the weekends of his middle school, and high school years, he’d followed the bird watching association, to all over the places to watch the birds, and, his grades are less than impressive to his parents, he’d signed up for the biology department back in the university years, had done excellently on his oral exams, was accepted by a namely public university.

Kai-Jie’s father is an officer, his mother is a homemaker.  Once after a parent-teacher conference, she’d told me, she’d let it go.  Because her daughter who was accepted by an all-girls’ high school told her, that she should allow her younger brother to go after the majors he’s interested in, otherwise, she will end up, losing a younger brother who is close to her heart.  Later on, Kai-Jie entered into the cooking majors, gotten his chef’s certifications, competed, became excellent in his area of expertise.

Bao-Jen since he was younger, had loved little critters, as he’d gone into the middle school years, as his classmates are out playing balls, horsing around, and running, he’d shared the time with insects, fishes, birds, or carried on in conversation about the topics of animals.  His grades are very high, it would be easy, for him to get into a namely high school, but the parents both stated, that they’re going to allow their son, to choose a major of his own choice, respected his decisions, and now, he’s studying, in the major of animal health, as he liked.

So, from this, you can see, how the parents must support the children in their areas of interests, and not just focused on the academic performances, because allowing the kids to pursue their interests can become a drive to learn for them.  And still, open parents are often keys, to a child, learning happily.

There’s an endless possibilities for the children’s futures, there are still a ton of unknown industries that we don’t know about, that are, waiting to be developed.  Focus on the moral education of the younger generations, cultivate their areas of interests, so the children can have more supports from the parents, making way, to happier families.

And so here, the attitudes of the parents ARE the keys to the kids’ success.  So parent, DO show your kids supports, when they come to you, all excited, because, that joy in learning will become their motivation in life later on, but, there are just, too many parents who PUSHED their kids to take the majors that they THINK would be better, and that will manage to SLAUGHTER the love of learning for their offspring.

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Filed under Awareness, Cause & Effect, Child Development/Education of Children, Education, Life, Parenting/Parenthood, Socialization