Dominyck bought me dinner with his pocket money on Mother’s Day.
Nothing fancy, but at our favorite little restaurant outside the Grocery’s for the signature Tom Yum Ramen and a few Dim Sum he liked.
While waiting for food, he went to the Bakery next door and bought some bread, then I asked, “Oh, you paid for them? I can get them myself later.” He looked at me, raised his shoulders, “No worries mommy”, said lightly and changed the topic.
My Birthday, Home 2018
It was at that moment that I came to realize, he has already grown into a mini man.
And, he really wants to look after me.
Cutting Onions, Home 2019
Honestly, I never felt like I was the “mom” to him all these years, but we have always been more like friends, as I always believed parenting should not be one person being the authority over the other. We are all in a partnership in the family unit, to be cooperative with each other and to achieve our daily goals.
Chinese New Year, 2019
As a child from a single parent family, he was not completely able to avoid the look of “shame” from the society growing up, especially in the setting of Asian family values, it was unavoidable. But he has always been the confident one, telling people “there are all kinds of families in the world”.
I have never expressed to him enough, but I am SO proud of him. Instead of being pushed into the corner of doubts, he has this tremendous amount of courage, kindness and sympathy for others to understand him, and to speak up his point of views.
Suzhou, Spring 2017
Of course, all of these did not happen just in a day, it took me a few years to explain what is a divorce, why there is a divorce, and how a divorce happened was not because of him – as most if not all, children facing divorcing families think it’s their fault deep down in them.
And there are no fancy tips to do this, but to treat him as an adult and speak the truth, repeatedly, as many times as he wants to hear – Yes, sorry we failed on our problems, yes, it is okay to have a disagreement in life, yes, we resolved it this way, and yes, we felt this is the best way for all of us because we care for you. – So that he feels trusted, he needs to be respected as part of the team, he wants to be a good companion, and he grew this eager in him to be brave and wanting to be the one protecting me.
Tokyo, Summer 2018
We enjoy cooking together, traveling together, “working” together since he was little; we love our solo time just to giggle and being silly when walking in the park after dinner, commenting on the dogs and staring at the sunsets.
I have this deep appreciation to him, that instead of giving HIM life, he gave ME a “new life” by allowing me to be his mom. It pushed extremely hard on my limits, but granted me all the wisdom I needed to be who I am today.
Cambodia, Winter 2018
I had never thought about sharing my experience on motherhood in public, but after I did a bit of sharing with the women I met during a recent retreat, I felt really fulfilling being able to help other new moms on their doubts in raising young kids.
Come on, we all had these questions and never had any answers. “Do you punish your child? What parenting books do you read? Who helps on his academic subjects? How do you set the rules that he will listen?” It goes on and on.
I guess we would never know if we did it RIGHT, but we can always let other women know that they are ALRIGHT and never alone.
Proud and grateful to be a mommy every single day.
Till the next sharing.
– J x