Get Married, Eat Desserts (2)

October 25, 2013

So, we had the same conversation again with Em. saying the prince and the princess will get married and then they will eat desserts. I asked her, “what happens after they eat desserts?”

She replied, “They eat noodles, udon noodles.”

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When I get old …

September 26, 2013

LETTER FROM A MOTHER TO A DAUGHTER:

“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.

And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.

When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love.

I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter.”

– Unknown,

Prayer requests

September 25, 2013

I sometimes include the names of some members who are sick when I pray with my kids, teaching them to pray for the sick. Today I ask them for their prayer requests:

Me: What do you want to pray for today?

Em: Mama’s friends who are sick.

 

Love is a verb

September 13, 2013

This is from an article I read yesterday. What is love? Love in marriage comes after being married. Something hard to fathom given that we’re surrounded by myths of “love at first sight” and “happily ever after” type of fairy-tale love stories.

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But eventually it became clear.  Through giving, through doing things for my wife, the emotion that I had been so desperately seeking naturally came about.  It wasn’t something I could force, just something that would come about as a result of my giving. In other words, it was in the practicality that I found the love I was looking for. And what was even more interesting was that once I realized this on a conscious level, and started trying to find more opportunities to give, the more we both, almost intuitively, became lovey-dovey.

And now, as I’m a bit older and a bit more experienced with this relationship, I’ve finally come to realize something. Something I haven’t wanted to admit for a long time, but is undeniable. I didn’t love my wife on that second date. I didn’t love her when we got engaged. I didn’t even love her when we got married.

Because love isn’t an emotion.  That fire I felt, it was simply that: emotional fire.  From the excitement of dating a woman I felt like I could marry.  But it wasn’t love. No, love isn’t an emotion or even a noun.  It’s a verb.  Better defined as giving.  As putting someone else’s needs above your own.

Why wasn’t I getting reciprocal lovey-doveyness when we were first married?  Because it wasn’t for her.  It was for me.  An emotion I had in my chest. And even when I let it out of my chest, it wasn’t love. Being sappy isn’t love.  Telling someone you love them doesn’t mean that you do. And that’s why my wife just gave me that half-smile.  She knew, even if I didn’t, what love really is.

And now that I’ve tried to change the way I look at love, the more I become shocked at the messages of love I had gotten when I was younger. From Disney movies to my favorite shows like “The Office” to practically every pop song released, love is constantly sold as an emotion we have before we’re married.  An emotion that, once had, somehow magically stays within a marriage forever. I can’t imagine a bigger lie.  And I’m saddened to think about how much those messages bounced around in my head for so long.  And how much I’m sure those messages are bouncing around in other people’s heads as well.

I think that might be a big part of the reason the divorce rate is so high in this country.  Imagine a whole nation of people constantly chasing the emotions they had when they were dating.  A country of people trying to live a Disney movie. That’s a recipe for disastrous marriages; for a country with a 50% divorce rate;  for adultery (the classic attempt to turn the fire back on); for people who do stay together to simply live functional, loveless marriages. It’s sad to see just how common all the above is.  How many people are in pain simply because they’ve been lied to. Those people deserve better.  We all deserve better. It’s time that we changed the conversation about love.  It’s time that we redefine it. Because until we do, adultery will continue to be common.  Loveless marriages.  Divorce. Living Disney movies in our minds, and tragedies in our lives.

Get Married, Eat Desserts

September 6, 2013

E. loves to play dress-up and be like a princess. She always wants me to get married to her.

Today, I asked her, “So, what do you do after you get married?”

E.: After getting married, we eat desserts.

(She later explained that getting married is a good thing, so one should have sweets.)

 

Date with Papa

August 21, 2013

Me: Is it ok if Papa and I go out for dinner, just the two of us, and you and Mei-mei stay with Nai-nai and Ye-ye?

X: No, that means you are boyfriend and girlfriend, but you are not.

Finding one’s niche in life

July 19, 2013

One time, a mother-friend waiting at the school-bus stop with me commented that there’s no need to worry about our children’s grades and success in school, for somehow in life, one will find one’s niche. There’s much wisdom in her words.

Today, a friend posted this short article on Facebook. Not sure if it’s a true story, but there are certainly many real-life stories like this one. Everyone is a good seed that will grow if planted in suitable soil. Failures may only mean one has not found the suitable soil that one needs to grow and blossom!

Here’s the article:

【信念与爱】

有一个女孩,没有考上大学,就在本村的小学教书。由于讲不清数学题目,不到一周就被学生轰下了台。母亲为她擦了擦眼泪,安慰说,满肚子的东西,有人倒得出来,有人倒不出来,没必要为这个而伤心,也许有更适合你的事情等着你去做。
  后来,她外出打工,又被老板轰了回来,因为动作太慢。母亲对女儿说,手脚总是有快有慢,别人已经干很多年了,而你一直在念书,怎么快得了呢?
  女儿又干过很多工作,但无一例外,结果都半途而废。然而,每次女儿沮丧地回来时,母亲总是鼓励她,从没有抱怨过。
  三十岁时,女儿凭借着一点语言天赋,成为了聋哑学校的辅导员。之后她又开办了一家残障学校。再来,她在许多城市开创了残障人用品连锁店,如今她已经是一个拥有几千万资产的老板了。
  有一天,功成名就的女儿问年纪已老迈的母亲,每当自己曾经觉得前途渺茫的时候,是什么原因让母亲对她始终充满着信心呢?
  母亲的回答朴素而简单。她说,一块地,不适合种麦子,可以试试种豆子;豆子也长不好的话,可以种瓜果;如果瓜果也不济的话,撒上一些荞麦种子一定能够开花。因为一块地,总有一粒种子适合它,最终会有属于它的一片收成。
  听完母亲的话,女儿感动地落泪了!母亲恒久而不绝的信念与爱,就是一粒坚韧的种子;她的信心,就是这粒种子执著而生长出的奇迹!拿破仑说过这样一句话:“ 世界上没有一个人是废物,只不过没有放对位置!”

My Good Brother

July 15, 2013

Emmy has always adored X. He was her first love. As a little infant, her eyes would follow her big brother. When she begins to be able to wiggle and move around, even before she could sit, or crawl, she was always looking for him, going towards him.

These days, she always calls him, “我的好哥哥” (my good brother). She trusts him. Today, in the swimming pool, she wanted to take off her float/life-jacket and have only X. takes care of her in the water. She often (not always) defends him when he’s being punished. X. does the same for her too. And, he usually looks out for her.

My wish is for them both to be always close and loving towards each other. After all, after I’m gone, it’s just them both in this world to help and support each other.

Brave little girl

July 9, 2013

Emmy went to the dentist this morning. When the dental assistant came out to get her, she stood up and looked intently at her, paying attention to whatever she said, that she would get a goodie bag after the visit. Then, without even blinking, she gave me a high 5 and went into the dentist’s room. What a brave little girl!!

Of course, X. did the same when it was his turn. When he was younger, it had always been traumatic for him, root canal, cavities etc. He’s come a long way to overcome memories of those nasty experiences. Brave little boy!!

Which husband for your daughter? (Story)

May 14, 2013

從前有個國王,他兩個女兒的眼淚都會變成鑽石。

大女兒嫁給了王子,而那王子也用她的眼淚創造了一個個金碧輝煌的大城堡。

小女兒卻嫁給了牧羊人。

國王臨死見到他們時,大女兒滿身金銀珠寶,而小女兒和牧羊人仍是貧窮。

國王很驚訝的說:“明明我的小女兒的一滴眼淚就夠你們生活的很好!你也不需要在牧羊了阿!”

牧羊人說:可是我捨不得讓她哭啊…

你會希望你的女兒嫁給誰呢?

I asked B. this question, regarding Em. His reply was “the shepherd boy.” I hope the same, that little Em. will someday be married to one who will not bear to let her shed any tears! 🙂

 


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