It Took Becoming A Parent To Realize My Parents Were Amazing

Let me start with this photo:

Yep – That’s Me Playing Air Guitar for my Birthday Party

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.

Basically I was the token Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Filipino Kid of the group
Basically I was the token Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Filipino Kid of the group

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.

Pretty Awesome Folks
Pretty Awesome Folks

G.D.F.R. When Your Parents Make It Real


One of the greatest titles in the world is parent, and one of the biggest blessings in the world is to have parents to call mom and dad.

– Jim DeMint


So far the journey towards becoming a parent has been sort of like a dream. We’ve experience many highs and certainly some lows.

But this adventure has been fantastic and almost dream-like in the sense that I’ve been witnessing things slowly unfold into something that is real.  I’m not just talking about strollers or cribs, but rather the variety of things and moments that make me feel like I’m becoming a dad.

Well today after having a conversation with my parents, the prospect of me being a dad became very real.

Don’t get me wrong, the past six months of preparing have made me understand what’s to come.  But when I actually put into words the ideals of what I will do for our daughter to my mom and dad, things felt very real, very real.

It was a simple discussion with my parents on how I will be teaching our daughter how to speak Chinese and the following G.D.F.R. revelation popped into my head:

“Holy sh*t, I’m actually talking to my parents about being a parent to my kid, that’s so crazy!…But wait a second…I’m still their kid!”

It may seem like nothing, but when you actually talk to your folks about parenting stuff you’ve officially removed the last set of training wheels.

momdadmeAnd almost immediately it made me wonder what they must be going through at this point.  As this is their first foray into becoming grandparents, I kind of wonder how that feels for them. Do they live vicariously through me now? Do they now officially close up the parenting shop knowing that they’ve successfully completed their task of raising a person who is now going to open up his own shop?

I wonder if they had a G.D.F.R. revelation too thinking:

“Holy sh*t, We’re actually talking to our kid about being a parent to their kid, that’s so crazy!…But wait a second…He’s still our kid!”

Wow it’s like parenting-inception.  It’s almost like a parent snake eating it’s kids tail while the kid snakes is eating…wait that actually doesn’t make any sense.

So from what has been a dream so far, I am now thrusted into the reality of becoming an actual parent, thanks to what I thought was an innocent conversation with my folks.

My parent’s are kind of really good at doing their job.

How so?  Well, even after 30 years of raising me and pointing me to right direction, my parents continue to teach and show me what it takes to be a parent to a kid so that I can one day parent-inception my kid back when they have this similar conversation.

That is totally like a parent snake eating the tail of their kid snake….nevermind.


My parents are cool!