Comic realization settled into the corners of my lips while driving and thinking how my whole belief system growing up was fabricated by my imagination. Growing up, I didn’t understand my parents nor did they try to understand me. We literally didn’t speak the same language. Now being a mom, I have already engaged in countless philosophical discussions about existentialism, religion, and creation with my four year old son.
Just the other night my son Elijah asks before bed, “who made all this? The world. Humans. Was it God? Was it Jah Rastafari?”
“Uh, I really don’t have an answer for you. Some people believe it was God, and some people believe it all just happened with one Big Bang.” I explain as I think, if I can’t answer questions for him at this age, we will be ruminating the questions of life together until…
“I don’t believe in God or Jah Rastafari, I can’t see them. But it’s good to believe in something mama?”
“Well I think it is.”
“I believe in Star Wars. Yeah I believe in Star Wars mama.”
“I’m glad. I think that’s awesome love.”
And really I have the biggest smile on my face and I’m not even trying to suppress the laughter. I think it is awesome.
But I don’t remember conversations and bedtimes stories going this way in my own memories of childhood. Instead I would ask questions in English and get answers in Korean. I remember a time there were crickets chirping.
“Um-ma, why do they make that sound.”
She would answer and I would catch some of the words, but I can’t recall any of my childhood dialogues with either parent. My memory has them play out like Shakespearean monologues where all the actors are on stage while I ramble. I do remember though from that conversation I somehow translated my own story about crickets living underground in darkness preparing for their ascension to land. They work their whole life to spend one day beneath the stars and sing beautiful songs of life before they pass into the greater unknown. I used to picture daddy crickets and mommy crickets preparing and teaching their own offspring the importance of preparations for their own final celebrations into the fantastic. The same journey their parents spent their whole life preparing for and never returning from. I remember believing this story and adding to it over the years and thinking of it as a Korean tale. It is the only tale I’ve had with me since childhood.


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