Mother’s Day was last Sunday. Therefore, for the last month, we’ve been bombarded with Mother’s Day ads for flowers, candies, gifts, cards, buy this! Treat your mom to that! Etc., etc., etc. Our TVs have been filled with Mother’s Day commercials. The ones that remind you of all your mom has done for you. How she made your favorite food as a kid. Or how she would tuck you in at night. Or how she would always come to your aid when you are hurt or down.
What these commercials don’t show, however, is that there’s more than one way of showing love. Take my mom, for example. She did all these things, don’t get me wrong– she made me my mac ‘n’ cheese, read me bedtime stories, and gave me those Hello Kitty band-aids– but she’s also not that softy, gentle maternal figure we paint out moms to be. Naw, my mom is tough. She’s here to make sure I grow up properly.
And she does this in her own way, using methods often annoyed me as a kid. But I’ve realized that, in all she says and does, my mom is always looking out for her daughters. To her, it’s a given that she wants the best for us.
So I’ve compiled this too-short list (because no list would be long enough, yeah?) of five things my mom has done for me and my sister. Here goes!
1. She looks out for our safety.
Every parent fears their kid getting attacked or injured or kidnapped. My mom is no exception.
Even as my sister and I have hit legal adulthood and lived on our own, she still worries.
My mom has some serious protective-mother-bear-mode! But really, she just wants us to be safe.
2. She keeps things in perspective.
Back in high school, I dislocated my shoulder during swimming class. After a panicked call to my mom, I was taken to the ER.
Fair enough. She had a point. I
was am a huge crybaby.
And no parent wants to see their child cry, right? Instead, my mom keeps me and my sister grounded. She wants us to be able to face whatever life throws at us!
3. She makes sure we stay healthy.
Every time my mom calls, she asks, without fail:
And nowadays, since I’m on Weight Watchers:
My mom is also a pharmacist. As a result, she knows a lot about health and medicine.
My mom has to deal with patients every day. She’s seen how poor health can affect a person. She often tells us,
…right before proceeding to slather us in sunblock.
Dude, when I’m old, I’m going to have SUPER-SMOOTH SKIN! Didn’t help me with the freckles though.
4. She wants us to succeed.
My parents grew up in a very different society from my own. Where my mom comes from, kids’ grades weren’t based on the percentage correct they got on a test, but rather how well they did compared to the other students. Vietnam isn’t the richest country. Back in her day, education was the only avenue to climb your way to success. Liking your job was secondary to achieving financial stability.
And the truth is, I really admire my mom for the way she took control of her own education. She wasn’t content as a dentist, housewife, or a lab technician, all three of which were options for her. She went back to university and got her pharmacy degree, despite having one kid and being pregnant with another. (Me!) She clawed her way up through guts and hard work. And she wants and pushes her kids to be able to do the same.
She’s expecting great things from me and my sister. Sure, the pressure’s been on even before we entered kindergarten. But at the same time, it’s nice to know that your mom believes– and expects– that you’ll grow up, become independent, and succeed.
5. She absolutely and unequivocally loves her kids.
My mom is a tough cookie. She’s blunt. She’s a tiger mother. But, without a doubt, she loves me and my sister.
She wants to share with us what she enjoys.
She takes care of us when we need it.
And ultimately, she’ll do whatever it takes for my sister and I to be happy.
So, mother, mẹ, mom: This one’s for you! I know you read my blog (you tell me proudly, all the time, that you somehow navigated the internet again to read every single post) and I know you were in Canada wishing your own mom a Happy Mother’s Day, so I waited until you got home today to release this post. And now, I want to take this chance to say: Mom, my sister and I are grateful for all you’ve done for us. You’re our one and only Zumba-dancing, tofu-cooking, glasses-losing mother. And we love you bunches for it!
I tend to overreact to things.
But I wasn’t always like this. Actually, back in elementary school, I tended to under-react to things. I wasn’t particularly hyperactive during class. I was quiet and liked to keep my head down.
Not to say that I wasn’t a happy kid. I mean, what did I have to worry about? I had barely any homework and played outside all day. I had friends. My parents fed me. The freeloading life was pretty swag.
But I guess in elementary school, I wasn’t a very emotive kid. Or something like that. I suppose. I really didn’t notice. Regardless, in my later elementary years, my teachers took notice of my subdued behavior.
This happened more than once.
I didn’t really think much of it. Maybe my teachers were just concerned for their students.
Fifth grade was a particularly fun year for me. I had a young, super-cool teacher (who taught us the Pledge of Allegiance in sign language) I really liked my classmates (especially the kid next to me who taught me how to play Yu-Gi-Oh… ooooh, grade school crush) and I got to race cars made from K’nex. Heck, in elementary school terms, I was pretty much living the life.
That year, each student had to sit down with their teacher and talk with them one-on-one. Like a parent-teacher conference, minus the parents. I wasn’t too concerned since I wasn’t a troublemaker. Plus, as previously stated, I loved my teacher because she was super-cool.
Whoa, hold up. What? She had something to tell me? I did something wrong? My young mind was thrown into uncertainty. Oh no, I must be in trouble! The suspense! Say it, just say it now!
I needed to smile more? What? But why? I was perfectly content. Did it not show? Did I not smile? Did I look, like, perpetually depressed all the time or something?
Wait, she said it again!! This wasn’t a joke!
And, if I didn’t smile enough, maybe I was depressed! Oh no!! Have I been secretly unhappy this whole time while I thought I was happy?
AHHH!! IF MY SUPER-COOL TEACHER THOUGHT I WAS UNHAPPY, IT MUST BE TRUE!!
That day, little elementary school me went home very confused.
How have I not been displaying my happiness? Was I unhappy? I consulted my closest confidant.
I was playing Pokemon. So that pretty much answered the question for me.
Still, this was a problem. So, like how Ash resolved to become a Pokemon master, I made my own resolution that night.
I walked into class confidently the next day, ready to show that I was a DARN CHEERFUL KID and I CAN SMILE, DARNIT! I just needed the right opportunity.
I found my chance when my super-cool teacher announced that we would be raising animals that year. That caught my attention. Animals?! No way! I had always wanted a pet. I was very excited.
WAIT! I MUST DEMONSTRATE ENTHUSIASM.
In fact, each kid would get their own animals to bring home.
Specifically, a pair of fiddler crabs.
In my determination to show that I had enthusiasm, and the fact that I was actually extremely thrilled about this guys, omg look at their little claws, meant that I was soon reduced to a jumble of breathless chatter and wildly waving arms.
I was a mess. A very excited mess. And the thing is, I never stopped being an excited mess. To this day, I gesture wildly, overreact to everything, and generally make a fool of myself.
At least my teacher never questioned my emotional health again.
GUYS, CRAZY NEWS. PEOPLE ACTUALLY READ MY BLOG.
CRAZIER NEWS: Some people actually like it????
At any rate, I was given the honor of getting the Liebster Award again by Middle-Aged Co-ed! For those who don’t know, the Liebster Award is a blog-meme chain-letter thing where bloggers tag each other, answer some questions, and then pass it along to other bloggers. While not a real award, the Liebster is a great way to spread the love to lesser-known blogs! And I’m highly flattered to be nominated again.
I’ve also been given the Super Sweet Award from Kindredspirit23! Whoa, two in quick succession– I feel so loved!
1. If you were a book, what genre would you be?
Just kidding. My book would be something closer to It’s Not My Fault I’m Not Popular!
2. If you were a book, who is your author?
3. Where in the world would you travel if time and money were unlimited?
I WOULD PRETTY MUCH BE INVINCIBLE, GUYS LET’S TRAVEL THE SEVEN SEAS
4. Your favorite food in the world is…
5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream (please don’t say vanilla!)?
That’s an actual thing. I’ve only ever had it once, but DAYUM is it tasty!
6. What’s your favorite season and why?
Dude, those tight skinny jeans are uncomfortable.
7. Name the teacher that most deeply affected your life.
Not to say I haven’t had some really awesome, intelligent, and effective teachers. I had a ballin’ World History teacher in my sophomore year, this incredible calculus teacher all three years of high school, and a very witty AP Chem teacher. All my high school English teachers were also incredibly passionate and great.
But if we’re talking about…
Yeah… it didn’t happen.
8. The most important quality in a friend is…
If you can tolerate my weirdness, anything is game.
9. Describe your comfy clothes.
10. Do you prefer it warm or cool in the room when you sleep?
I JUST LIKE SHORTS, OKAY
11. What would the title of your autobiography be?
Super Sweet Questions:
1. Cookies or cake?
2. Chocolate or vanilla?
3. Favorite sweet treat?
4. When do you crave sweet things the most?
5. Sweet nickname?
And that’s that. Now, for some blogs I happen to enjoy:
Thanks again to kindredspirit23 and Middle-Aged Co-ed!
Got any blogs you happen to like? Share them in the comments below! (Seriously, though, I’m looking for new blogs to follow, so, like, drop me a line if you know something good.)
I was due to get a checkup from the doctor last month. Having gone to college in a city 7 hours away from my hometown, however, meant that my usual family doctor was also 7 hours away.
Nah, I’m just joshin’ you. As much as I would have loved to visit home, I decided that it would be better to find a doctor around Boston. Because, you know, 7-hour drive and all.
Of course, this also meant that I had no idea which doctors in the area were reputable. There are so many– how could I choose? I ended up just logging into the my health insurance’s webpage and choosing a practice at random.
I scheduled an appointment at Visions Healthcare, a relatively new practice with buildings in Wellesley and Dedham. The website was shiny and polished, after all, and they based their methods on “cutting edge biochemical evaluations.”
Therefore, last March, I found myself waiting in the office of a doctor I had never met. I was the first patient of the day, and the doctor had to settle herself down first– so I had a few minutes to look at all the diplomas on her wall.
Right next to my doctor’s conventional MD diploma was a smaller certificate for an MD in acupuncture. I didn’t even know those existed, so I was taken a bit aback.
My doctor came in and introduced herself and the practice.
Hmm. I’m a cynic at heart, so I was already a little doubtful. Still, since I had just started Weight Watchers, I figured I would listen to what she had to say. My mom had wanted me to visit a dietitian, but if this lady could give me some pointers, maybe I could save myself some co-pay.
So when she started asking me about my health, I responded in turn. Diet? It wasn’t great before, but getting better. Exercise? Yes, I go to the gym whenever I can. Emotional health?
Did my doctor just recommend meditation to me?
Yes. Yes she did. In fact, she did it twice.
She did offer some reasonable advice. I should cut down on sugar. Eat more leafy vegetables. Eat more nuts, and also a little more red meat. (Though she insisted on grass-fed meat only.) She decided that, to know more, I should get a number of tests.
I was planning on getting some blood work done regardless, so I rolled with it. I was curious, and maybe she knew what she was doing. Most of the tests were covered by my insurance anyway, except
For some reason, this place didn’t send you your results in the mail. Instead, you had to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor a month later to discuss your blood work. Thus, a month later, I found myself back in my doctor’s office.
My doctor sat down and looked at my results.
My other results seemed to check out, though. Low cholesterol. No diabetes. A little low on zinc and iron, but nothing a few vegetables and steaks couldn’t fix.
And that was my visit to Visions Healthcare.
Call me a skeptic, but I think that’s going to be my last visit to my hipster doctor. She gave some solid advice, to be sure– but next time I want a service that’s half good intentions, half advertising, I’ll just go to WebMD.
My friend’s friend gave me a long, inspiring rant the other night about how all you need to get fit is running, push-ups, and rock climbing. He told me about how he’s gradually built up his endurance and muscle from simple home exercises. Which is very well and admirable for him.
I have less willpower than that. The only way I can get myself to do push-ups is if someone’s screaming at me to do them, so I decided to start going to classes at my local YMCA. I was already going to the gym, and the classes are free with membership, so why not? Maybe they could make me push myself a little more.
Nothing’s more motivating than doing kickboxing with a tiny 60-year-old woman who not only has more endurance than you, but is also more flexible and more muscular than you.
The younger people in my classes casually talk about how many half-marathons they’re running this year.
When you’re lifting weights next to a pregnant woman who looks like she’s ready to burst into labor any second now, you know that there are no excuses.
These classes can push you hard. In a free weights class I go to, the instructor takes pleasure in her students’ pain.
It doesn’t help that I was never fit to begin with. I have zero core or upper body strength, a fact that I discovered very quickly.
These classes are exhausting, but they definitely make me try harder than I ever would on my own. I don’t know if they’re working, but I’ll keep trying! It’s for my health, after all.
Geez, I’m such a try-hard. Oh, well. Hey, if I keep trying, maybe one day I can look like this!
(Though I’m willing to settle for less.)
Things were getting tense Friday night. The police had searched all of Watertown and concluded that the suspect might have escaped. The MBTA opened with limited service, and people sheltering at work were encouraged to go home, so I decided to head into Boston.
Right before I left, though, my friends started a message on Facebook:
Somehow, we all ended up listening to the police scanner. It was obvious something was happening. My friends and I were almost expecting another explosion. The police kept telling other officers to get out of the line of fire, calling officers over to a certain area…
And then: radio silence.
If you’ve seen the news, you know that the rest is history: the police cornered the suspect and captured him alive. The suspect is now in the hospital being treated for his wounds. Boston and its surrounding towns could finally breathe a sigh of relief.
So we did.
Boy, did we.
Shortly after I met up with my buddies at Northeastern, we received a message from one of our friends.
We complied, walking across campus to see what was going on.
Well, as The Sun managed to document…
Northeastern kids were packing Hemenway Street, despite NUPD’s best efforts to break up the crowd. Well, they weren’t trying that hard. After all, we were celebrating their efforts.
My friends quickly joined the chanting and cheering.
Yup. I admit, I went there.
The residents of Hemenway were hanging out their windows, waving flags and blasting music.
People ran around dressed in patriotic attire.
A random kid managed to climb up a tree, wave his flag, and lead the crowd in some traditional American songs.
Some policemen actually drove their motorcycles straight through the crowd. Everyone clapped, cheered, and high-fived them as they drove by.
My favorite moment was when my friends and I managed to start the whole crowd singing the national anthem. It was a crazy moment– as soon as we started, people joined in, and soon the guy in the tree was conducting the crowd.
What really surprised me, though, is how non-destructive this rally was. We didn’t flip any cars, start any fights, or break any windows. In fact, the crowd dispersed rather peacefully after concluding that the police didn’t need any more trouble for the night. Though there was a lot of beer, and beer cans, thrown around the crowd.
I’m no zealous patriot, but I felt pretty proud of my city. Northeastern wasn’t the only place to celebrate. Watertown took to the street as well. Hundreds of Bostonians paraded down Commonwealth Ave, police stopping traffic to allow them to march. In a tamer form of remembrance, flowers, notes, and gifts have been left at the bombing site.
I’m sure that, as the suspect recovers, more details will start to emerge. We don’t know if anyone else was involved. We’re not sure of the brothers’ motives behind the bombing. Investigations will be done, I’m sure, as there are still so many questions still unanswered.
But for now, Boston can feel a bit of relief. I know I do.
Edit: Cool, there’s video! Below is a video of the Northeastern students cheering on the police:
And here’s the national anthem: