Walking around in public places these days we are witness to all kinds of things. Sometimes, we encounter lunacy, joy, and ignorance. Being able to go to a social place, like the Mall of America, we meet people from all over the world but there’s always those few who will choose ignorance and hate. There doesn’t have to be a reason. We’ve all experienced it on the playground and in school. Kids will be kids and adults will be bigger kids. That’s why I had to write today’s piece. Reminding myself to be more mindful and thoughtful to make up for other people’s short-comings in the world. Thank you to the mother and father who raised me with respect for other humans.
He sat with his cherub legs crossed under the low, lacquer table. His thin, straight Asian hair was cut in the latest bowl fashion. I stared across from him in awe. Halmonie leaned over and patted his stomach and said, “so big” without any hesitation. It wasn’t a compliment but a polite hint. His sumo cheeks, flushed as a slow smile lifted the corner of his lips. Those Asian eyes I love in secret when I’m with my school friends were swallowed with laughter around the dinner table. Sounds of slurping lifted in unison and travel around the table. Seaweed and mushroom soup. My mouth hums and jumps when I chew on the few corn kernels my mother hid in the salty broth. Father doesn’t like them in soup. Hearts spread in happiness as our stomach expand with warmth. These are the kinds of memories that make me want to stand up and shout like any proud American. These are my memories and they belong just like any hamburger, slice of pizza, or hot dog on the corner. These are my American memories.
As a child, these are the memories I wanted to have. These are the things that I wanted to shout but kept quiet because I didn’t realize that they were okay to say and feel. Things we wish we could tell our younger selves. Luckily, I grew up with good and loving parents who didn’t look like me, but kept me connected to my heritage so that I would always have one connection of something else to be proud of when I grew into an adult.
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