My Foreign Mom

Mary HK Choi has written something so beautiful and sad and funny that there’s no point in rabbiting on about it any longer than that:

I then did what any normal kid would do and yelled and yelled about how embarrassing it was to have her at school with me during lunch of all times. She presented me with a sack of cheeseburgers that I could give out to my friends. I refused the damp bag and screeched about how it was so cheap that she didn’t spring for bright red boxes with toys for them as well. I made her take the burgers back with her. If I were an actress and had to think of something sad to make me cry in a scene, I would think about this moment. This and the time I was 13 when I kicked my mom across a room and ran away for two days because she tried to ground me — for breaking curfew after my friend Jacinta stole money from her dying grandmother so we could rent out a nightclub and write the names of those blackballed on the sign outside. For the record: I don’t know why people have kids.

This is not even remotely the best part, it just made me think about this: that moment in which you do or say something, as an idiot kid, that really hurts your parents, and you never forget it and feel like shit about it to your dying day. My mom has disabilities resulting from a terrible car accident two years before I was born, and over dinner one night, I chirped up (because I was an idiot kid): “Mom, after you dropped me off, my teacher asked if you were my grandma!” And my mom (oh, God) just quietly welled up with tears and cried onto her plate, and my dad gave me this face of death, and I have literally never stopped wishing I never said that. Anyway! Way to jack Mary’s piece. It’s about moms. It’s wonderful. Read it.