Happy Graduation

Seeing her child come of age, the thoughts of a mother, translated…

It’s, as if in a daze, the roads turned bumpy, I’d focused my eyes, and, those originally familiar looking streets, became, so unfamiliar, and I’d raised up my left hand to ring the bell, with my right arm, slung my backpack on my shoulders, rushed off the bus, the bus sped off behind me, I’d focused, and, hollered aloud, “Ahhhhhhhhh, my temperature bag………”, leaving this defeated “hen” standing all alone, on the busy streets of Taipei.

I’d still had this sort of dreams every now and then.

That was the summer, many, many, many years ago, as I’d just become a mother. This feeling was like being late for a major exam I’d had when I was younger, and after I woke in cold sweat, I’d realized, that I was, already, out of school.

My son, in his infancy, as he heard my version of “Little Kitty Cat” for mealtime, “Mimi, darling/Mimi, my baby/come drink the milk, come drink the milk/here’s, that yummy milk for you………”, he’d wiggled his body with excitement, and get himself closer to my breasts, and worked hard to suckle. Being taken in with his motions, I was, enjoying being a mother then, without realizing, that more trials were coming my way.

這天,我憶起過往,細數這段上課「食光」,許多美好的回憶取代曾經的跌跌撞撞,耳畔迴...the trials this woman faced, raising her son up…illustrations from the papers online…

At first, my son didn’t quite understand how to suckle, and used his gums, and bit down hard, and, my loud “OUCH!” thrilled him, it’d made me start crying. The nurses’ care and concerns got turned into the barking dogs in the late of night, and I can, only run scatter into the dark streets. As my baby couldn’t get enough sustenance, and cried like hell, it’d, forced me to choose my mother-in-law’s breastmilk production recipes of: peanuts stewed with pork’s feet, the sea bass soups, the assortments of Chinese herbal remedies, along with the milking teas out there………

And as the neighbors discussed, “Is her son having enough to drink?” “Breastmilk only works for the first few weeks of life! Breastfeeding this long will only tax your energies!”, my mother said, “Before bedtime, he needs the formulas! He will get hungry fast, and you’d have to stay awake through the night, to feed him!” And, even though there’s care and concern hidden there, behind her words, it’d felt hurtful to me.

Many years ago, the breastfeeding places in public and in the offices aren’t that prevalent, I’d had to work in the daytime, and I’d needed to go and breastfeed my son in the smelly restrooms; as I’d gone on business trips, I’d had to send my bagged up breast milk home by service. I’d had a childrearing volume in my left, the tools in my right hand, worked hard at it, and finally, I’d become, good at it. But, how much of these earliest memories of feeding would my child ever actually recall? I really can’t tell, and still, this would be a special memory that’s shared by me and him alone.

On this day, I’d recalled the past, and, counted out the memories, and, the nursery rhyme “Kitty Cat” came accompanying the fast-beat graduation tunes.

So, this is, tracking the milestones of your child’s growth, as you’d become a mother, you’d gone through some hardships in life, and yet, now, your son is an adult now, and, it made you realize, that all the hardships in your life previously had been, more than worth it.

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Seemingly Different

After living through the ups and downs of life, you’re now, finally, settled, finding something beautiful in your ordinary life here, translated…

Looking at my husband sound asleep, it’s, as if I saw that man who’d made me into a spare, that man was already married, kind, very quiet, and at that time, I’d felt, that he was, very lonely.

Back then, I’d thought naively, why does he look so lonely?  Isn’t someone with a family supposed to gloat about his own children, scurried through his wonderful, noisy, messy life?  I’m guessing, that his wife probably didn’t know him at all then.

But, as the wheels of fortunes keep on turning, don’t know if my husband who’s sound asleep, looks like that to other people?  The joys of having a child reduced because of the odds and ends of life, and, the originally colorful life, because the birth of our own, our families, the holidays, the odds and ends of everyday, started, losing its, luster and color, sex became unnecessary now, and even as my husband wanted to help out with our son, I’d belittled him, and caused us to turn sour.  And so, I’d, shouldered up all of these nitty-gritty, odds and ends matters, and, overlooked how my husband became a father later on in life, and so, he’d become, more and more silent.

Recalling how on that gathering, I’d met his wife, she’d looked very fashionable and eye-catching, and his wife was actually, very beautiful.  And, that scent of jealous made me accept the invitations from another male coworker to sing karaoke, and yet, in the loud blasting music, I kept pondering: how can his wife be so beautiful and gently, and he’d still needed me?  If his wife was like she was, then, would having an affair come naturally to him?

No matter how I’d felt, being young, I’d still left that affair, and later, met up with my husband now.  I was his first love, and, although he’s over forty, he’s still in great shape, unlike how I’d gained weight for my pregnancy and for breastfeeding too, but as my husband heard me complain about my weight, he’d always smiled and hugged me tight, said, that I feel good with flesh.

And, I’d started thinking about the differences of my husband and that other man, what they had in common, then, it’d, hit me, about how different they are to one another: that man’s selfishness, stood in contrast with my husband’s kindness toward me, that man’s desires for beauties of youth had made the wonderful feelings of familiarity go away.

Perhaps, tomorrow, my husband will still take out the snacks and the iPad to feed to my young child and to socialize him, and I’d attempted to teach him how to play with our son, to read the illustrated books to them, and put them to sleep on time, then the two of us can finally, sit down, and share that glass of wine at night, or just, cuddle on the couch, watch the T.V.s shows and laugh.  It’ll be fine, like this.

So, after everything you’d weathered through, being someone else’s whore, you’d learned all you can about life, and now, you’d finally found a great man, married him, had children with him, and now, after all those years of ups and downs, the highs being too high, the lows, too low, you just wanted, an ordinary life, and who can blame you!