05 April 2013
the next adventure
Dear Mom and Dad,
We just got back to Chengdu after spending three months with you in Chicago in the house
where I grew up. I came to you quite pregnant, moved along to being very pregnant, and then
went into oh-yes-I’m-definitely pregnant labor in what used to be my little sister’s bedroom.
Before the baby came, we all did the things that people do. We walked the dog and we went
to the zoo. We watched the TV shows you highlighted in the TV schedule each morning and
we ate ribs and hot dogs and steaks and marinated pork from TV trays in the living room. We
were together for Christmas and New Years and Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. We
celebrated the aforementioned little sister’s birthday. Grandpa died and my son was born.
It was both a life changing and a normal life – and usually I’m an ocean away from both. But
not this time. This time I was close. I was so close that I was sleeping down the hall from you
and napping on the sofa across from you.
I was there.
And it was perfect.
You know when I say perfect I don't mean that nothing bad happened. That no bones were
broken. That no one cried. You know that I mean just being there – being with you for
everything that did happen – was perfect for me. How saying goodnight to you each of those
evenings almost made up for the time I’d been away.
Coming back home gave me precious time with you as your daughter, and it gave our son his
first moments with you as your grandson.
I watched you hold him. I watched you kiss and coo him. I watched you pace and dance and
hug and snuggle this tiny little boy who is to me what I am to you.
My son won’t have the same childhood that you gave me. He will move far away and he will
keep moving. His house will be everywhere and nowhere all at once.
As his mother my job will be to make sure that he also has a home. Something that feels sure
and constant and full and that is made with love and heart instead of bricks and mortar. I
can do this because you did it for me.
Thank you for being my parents. And thank you for being there when I became one too.
I hope we can visit again soon.