Let me start with this photo:
That’s me when I was seven years old, enjoying a fantastic birthday party with a bunch of my grade 2 friends. On the surface, it may not seem like a big deal. But thinking about it more recently, it actually means a whole lot being one of the few Asian families in my community.
Notice that I said Asian and I wasn’t specific to Chinese, well when you are in such a predominantly Caucasian community, you are simply lumped together. This is not a shot of the people in the town, but rather there just weren’t too many Chinese (let alone Asian) families in the town of less than 10,000. So a little bit of ignorance is understandable.
In fact, I was mistaken for an Aboriginal kid on numerous occasions. So really no harm, no foul.
Knowing this, I now sense that my parents probably went through even greater obstacles as new immigrants, in learning about a completely new culture. Because of that, the fact that they were able to put together this birthday party with pizza, video games, balloons, and loot bags was truly amazing.
They had the “just make it work mentality” and this is something I, now as a parent, must figure for my daughter.
I can only image the amount of stress they must have went through to plan and execute uprooting our family from Hong Kong to Hinton, Alberta.
And for that I am grateful.
It’s hard enough for my wife and I to plan out a day at a zoo, let alone flying across the world to start a new life. Apparently they shipped a large container of furniture by sea to Edmonton, and drove a freight into the small town.
What’s even a crazier is the fact that they did hardly knowing any English.
Perhaps I should’ve realized this sooner – I mean should it really take becoming a father for me to really clue in on how tough it must have been for my folks?
But I suppose that’s one of the magical features that come with having your own kid:
When you have a kid, you not only learn how to be a parent, but you learn how your parents were as parents.
More likely than not, you learn that your folks are kind of amazing.
Regardless of timing, I just feel that I needed to share this and advertise that my parents were pretty awesome.
I hope that one day I will be able to do at least half of what they’ve done for me and my brother, for my daughter. If I can do that, she’ll be a pretty lucky girl.