This weekend, the ashes of one of my closest high school friends / old boyfriend were scattered in the ocean near where we grew up. And as friends and family gathered on a beach yesterday to remember the fun and joy he brought to others, I’m reminded all too poignantly that sometimes neither age nor experience, success nor family, love nor friends, have anything to do with how we leave this world.
There was a beach memorial service that I couldn’t attend with the people whose lives my friend touched. Of those that I know, I haven’t seen many of them in more than two decades. I wish I had been able to join. And as I see the pictures both of the memorial service and of our high school years that my friends keep posting, I think how it’s amazing that despite three thousand miles and two decades, it’s actually so easy to slip back into the days of our youth.
Funny thing about this August – I’ve had the chance to catch up in person with quite a number of high school friends – some of whom I haven’t seen in about 16-17 years. And it’s been kind of weird. When you go this long without seeing people, they tend to remain eternally frozen in the moment you last saw them. Think Han Solo in carbonite. Though hopefully without the look of intense pain. And somehow against all practical reality – despite knowing intellectually that a decade and a half of intense change have passed – some deep-seated, emotional part of you half expects that your friends will thaw out from that carbonite of time slightly worse for wear but fundamentally with the same boyish good looks, rakish smile, devil-may-care attitude and smartass remarks.
This post is nearly a week late, but I couldn’t finish the week without acknowledging my munchkin’s third birthday.
On Monday, whenever someone asked K about the crown she was wearing or what was special about the day, she would explain, “It’s Happy Birthday to Me!!” When one of her teachers said to her, “Oh it’s your birthday? Could it be my birthday too?” K replied: “Well, it could be your birthday, but it’s not because it’s my birthday, but it would make you sad if I told you it wasn’t your birthday, so we can pretend it’s your birthday if you want even though it’s actually my birthday.” The teacher said she’s never been told “no” quite so politely in her life.
But this is K. She’s smart and articulate, crazy and hilarious. Her thought process is fascinating to watch and her individual sense of self and style is something I hope devoutly that she keeps in the face of peer pressure as the years go on.
My little girl growing up
One of the things about parenting that people talk a lot about but you don’t really appreciate is how you feel when your kid tells you that someone hurt her. In this instance, I don’t mean physically – Day care/pre-school has its perils, so my kid has been pushed, bitten, kicked and had her hair pulled, but mostly it all falls under what I would call reasonable expectations. Here, I’m talking about the emotional hurt – and the realization that your kid not only mature enough to feel it, but also has grown enough to articulate it. Case in point:
K: “I’m Mommy, and you’re Katherine.”
Me: “So I’m Katherine?”
M: Then I must be really cute.
K: And smart!
That’s my girl. Second interlude involves our seemingly never-ending potty training battle. Continue reading
For the amount that I write about my kid, this blog is turning into a Mommy Blog that has no mission. For that, I’m sorry. If you’re here for my deep thoughts, well, you should realize by now that those are relatively spread out and interspersed with fluff. Sorry.
On the other hand, if you’re here to hear about my sassy kid, you’ve come to the right place. Those of you who are Facebook friends of mine will have already heard this story, so you can feel free to tune out now.
In my last post, K and I wished you all a hearty Gung Hay Fat Choy, in honor of the Chinese New Year. Well, today, J, K and I all went down to Chinatown to watch the Lion Dance festivities.