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…

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.…

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…

What’s in a Name?

My name is MaiBao. The Hmong RPA spelling of MaiBao is Maiv Npauj. Maiv means "girl," "miss," or "little girl." (Maiv can be used by itself to call someone significantly younger than you. For example, an elderly woman can call a young Hmong woman, "Maiv" without having to use her name). Npauj means "moth." MaiBao or Maiv Npauj is pronounced…

Refugees of War

Before bed one night, I read The Whispering Cloth, by Pegi Deitz Shea, to my children. It is a story about a little Hmong girl, named Mai, who lives with her grandmother in a refugee camp in Thailand. This story takes place after the Vietnam War. Mai learns to embroider her own story cloth while watching…

On this Father’s Day

Dear Father, A reader suggested on Facebook a year ago that I write a blog for Father's Day.  To be completely honest, I have no idea where to start.  It's something that I haven't done and have never even thought of doing.  However, I want to do this. I am sitting here in front of…

Sisters, Dearest

I had been wanting to write this blog for some time now.  I just never had the motivation until one day, while I was working on the last installment of the "My Mermaid" series, I found a poem in my dusty poetry binder from oh-so-long ago.  It was titled "Fucken Sister."  I was shocked with…