Royal Tomb Yeonsangun, 10th King of the Joseon Dynasty
Italian journalist and writer Italo Calvino said, “The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts.”
I love this quote for many reasons, and it carries new weight for me being here in Korea where one’s ancestors are a prominent part of life. They are honored at various times throughout the year and the story or history of a family is one that carries much weight. For better or worse, the past is always present and ghosts abound. Turns out, it may indeed be for the better.
There was a recent article in the New York Times, The Stories That Bind Us. It’s a fascinating read about recent research that suggests that there is a direct correlation between a child’s resilience, self-esteem, and sense of control and how much they know about their family’s story. The article says:
“The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.” (more…)
I worry a lot these days. Come to think of it, I’ve always been a little bit of a worrywart, but it seems to have gotten worse in the last few weeks. I worry about big things like our health, our family’s financial situation, getting a home of our own, and even the well-being of my parents and parents-in-law. I worry about the little things too, like what to prepare for lunch, the small pimple sprouting on my chin, and even about what activities to do with my son this summer. Yes, I worry, and sometimes I wonder if worrying is part of a mother’s nature, or if I’m just being an exaggerated version of how I’m supposed to be. It could be an age thing too, something new that sprung from my turning 30. Goodbye carefree 20’s, hello 30. I really am not sure.
I noticed that a lot of what I worry about involves my son. I suppose it’s because I have come to terms with the fact the he is now a big kid, no longer a baby, and no longer easily swayed by mom and dad. His peers now play a huge part in building his character and in influencing him to be or do certain things. And that doesn’t just worry me. It actually scares me. I get worked up over the things my kid may be learning in school because I’m not there to impart the little bit of mom-wisdom that I think I have. No, it isn’t the education that I have trust issues with. It’s the time spent outside his classroom, with his peers, away from his teacher’s guidance. (more…)
Little Girl at almost age 3 and is just starting to form sentences and phrases. Big Girl at age 5 has a good grasp of the English language including many popular slang words and phrases. When I hear Big Girl use slang phrases in correct context with emotion, I often wonder where she gets them? Do you know where? The answer is obvious.
From me. Most of the time. But not always.
Recently Big Girl’s response to any request I made that she either didn’t want to do or like to do was “Whatever Mom!” It was irritating. I cringed every time she said it. And I thought, “Where did she get that?” And then I heard myself say it. With the same tone and in similar context. I am working to rid my response of, “Whatever!” and sure enough, the times I hear it from her have decreased.
Then there are the rouge phrases that Big Girl picks up from television cartoons. One day her response to me was, “Duh! Boring!”. I KNOW I don’t say that! Turns out that it is a favorite phrase of a little pink pony. (more…)
Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?
I was born and raised in Singapore and have lived here all my life. Although I live in the smallest country in Southeast Asia, I take pride at the vast progress that we’ve achieved. At the same time, I’m humbled to live in a city where it’s a melting pot of different cultures, fueling my passion to travel to learn more about different cultures.
What language(s) do you speak?
English is my first language. I also speak Mandarin, and dialects such as Cantonese and Hokkien. Oh and I also speak baby language 🙂
When did you first become a mother?
I became a mom at 29 years old in August 2009 which also happens to be our National Day or Independence Day!
Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work outside the home?
I’m a full time working mom and made this choice consciously as I believe that it’s possible to balance family and a career. Though I’ve had my ups and downs especially in the initial years, I don’t regret it and hope to inspire other moms to find work life balance. (more…)
Tonight is the first night of Passover, a Jewish holiday that commemorates the story of the Exodus when the Jews were freed from prolonged slavery in ancient Egypt.
On Passover (also called Pesach) we refrain from eating “chametz”. Chametz (leavening) is anything made from five types of grain and left to rise more than 18 minutes. So basically, the prelude to this holiday is crazy spring cleaning, getting rid of any chametz in the house before Passover starts, and not bringing anything not kosher for Passover into the house until after Passover. It also involves koshering your kitchen and making sure not to mix the “chametz” with the Passover stuff.
As you can imagine, the logistics are enough to cause anyone an ulcer. At least they are if you are not living alone, continue to work and have a family to feed and take care of while trying to get everything else done. Say the word Pesach to me and there is an immediate visceral reaction of stress.
The question I have been asking myself for years is why do we all tend to make things so much harder on ourselves than it really has to be. Passover is the holiday that represents freedom yet way too many people feel like slaves in the weeks before Passover. A self imposed slavery. (more…)