Hmong: Where Is Home?

"Where are you from?" she asked me with great interest when I told her I am Hmong. "It depends on what you're asking." "What do you mean?" "Well, if you're asking where I live, I'm from the US. If you're asking where I was born, that's Thailand. If you ask where my parents came from,…

Currently Away

I've been away for 8-9 months (isn't it obvious?). At first it was because I had too many things on my plate--work, family life, health, and being in a place where there were too much clutter in my brain to make sense of it. Then when I wanted to write something, I found that I…

A Visit From Grams

Last Friday, my sister and I took our kids to visit Grams'. It had been a couple months since our last visit. We wanted to take her flowers and food. We also had good news about Tais Neng. When the five of us got up to Grams' headstone, Girl grabbed the recessed vase from its…

Post-Election, I Mourn

I couldn't sleep last night. My eyes were glued to the screen of my laptop, watching the United States turn red. I was hopeful, telling my worried sisters that it's still too early to decide a winner. And even after the announcement that Hillary called Trump to concede, I was in denial and became numb.…

Triggered

"Professor Choi," she said. That name took me through a wormhole back to freshman year in college. The feelings of disgust and fear crept through my body as my 18-year-old self saw this college professor's erection through his khaki pants. I wasn't in Choi's class. That was the first and last time I met him.…

How Racism Looks Like for a Child

My evening conversations with my children consist of the usual: How was your day? How are you doing? A few weeks ago, while we're sitting on my bed, Little Mermaid told me that Aiden made fun of her at school. "Mommy, Aiden called me Chinese today," she broke into tears. "I told him that I'm…

Say What?! Feminism is Veganism

Being feminist means being vegan. You can't be a true feminist if you're eating meat. I read this comment on Facebook and it hit a nerve with me. My first reaction was, "Why should people be telling others what to eat and what not to eat?" The more I thought about it, the more it bothered me for…

I’ll Be Seeing You

"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living." -- Marcus Tullius Cicero My maternal grandmother passed away on April 1, 2015. She was 75 years old. When I received my aunt's phone call that morning at work, I thought, "This must be a joke. It's not funny." When I called…

Children and Children

Mini Mermaid told me the other day that she wants to get married in the future but does not want to have any children. This isn't the first time she has informed me of her choice to be child-free. She is going to marry at age 29 to the person she loves and likes. She…

Thirty Life Lessons

I turned 30. When I was younger, I used to think that 30 was old. Being a teenager or fresh out of high school, I could not fathom being 30. Thirty is old! So old! I'm so old! My life has ended.... (<---sarcasm). I am no sage, but I have learned many things while trekking…