Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, moms-to-be, and mother figures who shape our lives.
These past couple years, I’ve seen some of my best friends become mothers — surreal and magical to me, to think of the sons and daughters they will raise and instill with pieces of themselves.
It’s only with time that I could even begin to understand what it might’ve been like for my mom to raise one strong-willed, independent (mildly megalomaniacal, periodically reckless) child, let alone two — first at age 36, then 42; plus, re-earn her bachelor’s in America (magna cum laude) while working full-time, holding the purse strings, and cooking for four.
As I get older and strive to be better at being my mother’s daughter — less selfish, more grateful, more equipped in bridging that emotional distance so real between first generation children and their immigrant parents — I’m in awe at the thought of my mother’s unconditional love. Every single thing that I am, am not, will be... is hers too.
I’m in awe of her heart, her clear integrity, the goodness in her that left no room for my sister and I to wonder at what goodness in people should look like.
And not least, I wonder how she could have known it would be so important to keep me so close to my heritage. The Vietnam that she lost became my first language, my native tongue (always, in the house), and the food of my dreams. To be able to read, write, speak, think, and cook Vietnamese is a gift; to be able to share my culture with the ones I love is a power.
Happy Mother’s Day to my First Lady, the baddest, bae-est ever — mama TTT, who will always out-fly me in an Aó Dài.