1.5 Generation Christmas

I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas.

It was like my brother and I were Hansel and Gretel wandering like orphans wandering into strange yards watching through windows other families cozied up by a fire place with a Christmas tree illuminating the room and families holding tradition.

We stood outside doors waiting to be invited in and watch them open presents and enjoy the good high spirits of whatever tradition they celebrated while our own parents worked all night and day on their busiest night of the year.

Neither completely Korean nor American, we had less tradition to hold on to, but the dream of my parents was for us to belong here.

And so I am,

Making ornaments,

Witnessing my children completely apart of “their” tradition,

And I am standing completely a part of it rather than watching through someone’s window,

Finally belonging.

Dinosaur Dragon

Dinosaur dragons

“You be mommy dinosaur dragon and I’ll be baby dinosaur dragon and we will eat people rawr!”

“Well do you want to eat people?”

“Well, Well, ok you be mommy dinosaur dragon and I be baby dinosaur dragon and we will eat bad people.”

“But do you think bad people will taste good?”

“Well Well, ok. You be mommy dinosaur dragon and I’ll be baby dinosaur dragon and we will eat tacos!”

“Ok rawr!”



Stepping out of the shower, Clarence comes to me and rubs my stomach, “what are those? Bones?” He asks touching my stretch marks.

“When I had Elijah in my belly, my belly grew so big it made scars.”

He hugged me, kissed both sides, and said, “They’re beautiful!”

Musingnude #18 on eight year olds and relationships

I picked Elijah up from school Wednesday and he stood outside of the car looking at me through the window. 

“Hi Elijah! Are you getting in?” 

“Marcus (his best friend) told me he likes Jerilynn now.” 

“Aw, get in the car love. Did that bother you?”  Elijah’s been crushing on Jerilynn all year.”

“No, and…. he told everyone that I like Jerilynn.”

“Aw, did that bother you?”

“Well, no I guess it’s a good thing. I mean, it is the truth and who cares if everyone knows.” I’m completely in awe of how confident my eight year old is. I know I would have been mortified and probably completely deny it, but I contemplate telling him because I don’t want him to question his confidence. 

“Did Jerilynn say anything about it?”

“No, but she just smiled and she still talked to me.”  

When Jose got home from work, I ask Elijah if I can share his story. He nods. Jose is amused. 

I ask Elijah, “so do you want to have a girlfriend?” He’s in third grade and too young. 

“Nah. I’m too young.” Good boy. 

And Jose chimes in,”and having a girlfriend is like having homework.” Elijah cracks up hysterically! 

“That’s so funny! I hate homework.” And we laugh. 

“Wait, are you saying I’m like homework?”

“Well I like homework.” He winks at me smiling. 

The next day I pick Elijah up and he stands staring at me with a smile on his face. “Mom! Everyone wants me to ask Jerilynn to be my girlfriend because they all know I like her.”

“What did you say?”

“I said, ‘having a girlfriend is like having homework.'” Still laughing and smiling. “So Luis said I need to make her my girlfriend and he’ll take care of her because he can cook and clean and that kind of stuff.” I’m cracking up.  

“So what does Jerilynn have to say about all this?” 

“She ran up to me and said hi. I told her to meet me under the tree next Monday.”

“What? Why?”

“Well Marcus is too shy to talk to her and he stalks her so I told him that she will be under the tree and he can go talk to her.”

“That wouldn’t bother you? I thought you liked her.”

“I do like her, but I think he likes her more and I guess I could like Jada and Marcus could have a chance. I don’t want to have a girlfriend. They’re like homework.” He laughs again. He is going to find any excuse to use that line. The rest of the ride home Elijah is singing songs and in a good mood. 

I have no words. This boy amazes me at how mature he is and understanding he is about his friend and also that he feels too young for a relationship, but I’m also asking myself how I’m going to parent from here on out when kids are already talking about relationships. Smh


Clarence stared intently at my face and smiled, “mom! You have so many moles on your face.” Waving his hands in front of my face. 

A boy told me that once in junior high school and said he wanted to play connect the dots. 

“Do you think it looks funny?” I ask.

“No.” He stared quietly, “I think it looks beautiful.” 

Generator, Operator, Destroyer

Me and my bean, we’ve seen things.

We’ve stared into each of our eyes so intently that we’ve seen God.

We do this for minutes and he doesn’t turn away.

I don’t turn away.

We just stare until our hairs rise and we giggle

Because I helped create him and he helped resurrect me. 

When I hum and he hums we breathe in the same things and we mmmmmmmmmmmmm

Until we smile because it feels good to be one sound.

And when he’s tired he curls up like a little bean, legs and arms tucked right on my lap with his ear by my chest,

I wrap my arms around him until our heart beats the same again and we return home,

Both of us a whisper who haunts gods dreams and lure him to play king of the forest,

Until we open our eyes and forget 



Pea Love

Pea Love

Afternoon pickup 

I groan.

“Why you hurting mama?”

“I’m bleeding son.”

“Where’s the blood,”

“Where I’d pee.” I speak bluntly.

Boy eyes wide I explain.

“You know our chickens lay eggs each day?

Mama lays eggs each month, but it’s just a speck a dust.

It’s cuz I can make babies. 

You were the size of a pea when I first saw you,”

Eyes even wider with amazement. 

“That’s crazy! And baby brother was a pea too?”

“And I was once a pea too.”

We both smile probably pondering the same thing. 

Before bed.

He tosses and turns. 

“Go to bed son.”

He huffs and sighs.

“I am much like you little boo.”

“Uh huh” he says annoyed.

“Yeah I was afraid of the dark, monsters,

Ghosts, shadows, lights….

I used to bundle up inside my blanket where they couldn’t get me until my hands and feet got hot and convinced the monsters they were covered with invisible shields just like my head.”

Excited. “I count to 10 to jump on couches before they can get me.”

“I used to dream of flying and wake up the next day trying to fly.

I felt safe in my mamas bed too.

Mornings I pretended to be sick because I was tired from staying up all night thinking about traveling to other planets and wondered if there was someone exactly like me somewhere else.”

He hugs me tight. 

We both smile excited to find someone like me

eyes wide, 

probably pondering the same thing. 


“Mom, if you meditate a lot, can you move things?” 

“What do you mean?”

“Like move things with your mind.” He puts his hands by his temples and looks at me inquisitively. “Because my dad says if you start moving things with your mind, he wants to see it.” 

I laugh, “why? Did you tell your dad that meditating will teach you to move things with your mind?” I’m having an aha moment because I wondered why Elijah is more open to meditating and chanting than asana. 

“Yeah! And he says he wants to see it if you do. But can you? If you meditate a lot?”

“Well that is one belief and I think anything is possible.” And right at the moment, a huge container truck was slowly turning into a shopping plaza. Elijah was so occupied he didn’t see it and I raise both hands and say, “watch!” And he looks up at the road to see this huge container turning to block the road with the driver cab on the other side of the truck so it looked as if it was floating. His mouth drops and then laughs as the driver becomes visible. 

“Ha. You didn’t do that. It’s a truck!” And he’s still laughing for being fooled for a moment. 

“Yeah, but I wasn’t really trying to move the truck. I was trying to move you to laugh. We can move the heart, and we can move the energy. Are you feeling happier already?”

He laughs a different kind of laugh. “Yes.” He says smiling and content with that. 

“The Giving Tree” revisited 

“The Giving Tree” revisited 
His new favorite book is “The Giving Tree”

It’s the first book my dad bought me. I remember staying home sick from school one day because I wanted to go to work with him. Back then my dad had like 5 jobs to support my family and one was cleaning homes. I begged and begged to wash the windows because the squeegee looked like fun. He let me do a window and I read “The Giving Tree” over and over again on a porch until I could read it so fast that I didn’t have to pause to turn the page. 

     “Mom. Can you read “The Giving Tree” 

“Of course.” I respond with warmth because I love the book so much.” As I read, he finished the sentences because we read it over and over again. I have tears streaming down my face.

He says,”and the tree loved the boy,” in his loud, strong voice,”very much! Mom! Mom! You be the giving tree, and I’ll be the boy. You say, come, eat my apples!”

And we reenact each page and I’m laughing and crying,”hey, but don’t leave me and take all my apples and cut my trunk. How does the tree look?”

“The tree is happy, but but but she looks sad.” He says empathetically. “Mom, but I want to a boat! Can you give me a boat?”

“Sure baby!”

“No, you say, ‘I don’t have a boat.”

“Ok,” I say in my high motherly giving tree voice, “but I don’t have a boat. You can cut down my trunk and make a boat. Then you can sail far far away from here. And you will be happy.”

He hugs me with that smile where his whole face smiles. And I cry. 

The Clock Ticks

I’ve been writing all night and all morning trying to come to terms with what has happened. 

The dread I felt was real.

The fear I felt was real.

I keep flip flopping back and forth to stay positive and then knowing how horrible this actually is. 

On one hand, my 2 year old woke up happy as ever, saying,”I’m hungry mom.” As he does every morning to wake me up. He sang Twinkle Twinkle in the morning. He laughs and hugs me and tells me how much he loves me. And for this I want to move forth from a place of love and peace. 

On the other hand, Trump made promises that I hope he cannot keep. For some, more than others, this is valid fear they are feeling. I feel it is insensitive to ignore that our brothers and sisters and walking around in fear of what might happen to them and their families. Trump began this race igniting fear and scapegoating one side of America that he had no part of. I can not just say, we just have to stay positive because now is the time to be even more vigilant and fight harder and stand taller. We need to acknowledge that this is real and not just hope it will all be ok. 

So I’m torn. 

The clock ticks.

It sounds the same,

It does not feel the same. 

My heart is heavy,

But it is still filled with love

And that love is telling me that it is right to feel pain and loss as much as it is ok to laugh and sing songs with my children.