Flying back to the U.S. from southeast Asia, I watched the movie Paper Planes. It’s about a 12-year-old boy from Australia who competes in the World Paper Airplane Championships in Tokyo. It reminded me of how my brother used to do Origami when we were kids. And how I used to throw paper airplanes at substitute teachers. In the movie, the boy’s father has a difficult time getting over the loss of his wife, and struggles with being there for his son. But the 12-year-old boy, like most 12-year-old boys, wants to share his experiences with his father.
September 15, the day after I get back to the U.S., is the 5-year anniversary of my mother’s death. A 42-year-old boy, I, too, want to share my experiences with my parents. I would tell them how deeply fulfilling it is to create my own certification for professionals in my industry and travel the world to teach it. I would share my love of teaching with my mother, Muriel, who taught high school in Brooklyn, New York for 22 years and loved every minute of it. I would ask my father about his own Asian experience, when he was stuck in a foxhole in Korea during the Korean War. I would ask my father about the food he ate, and compare it to the food I ate. I would ask my mother how she felt when she saw a kid’s face light up in the back of the classroom and compare it to what I see in the back of the rooms in which I speak. I would share with both of them how amazing it feels to sign my books in a different country.
I know my parents would be immensely proud of me. I don’t need to be told that. My parents made certain that they told my twin brother and me how proud they were of us. What I need is to be able to share my experiences with them.
I don’t know how many people actually read my blog. But I suppose that writing a blog is more for me than it is for anyone else. Perhaps this is nothing more than a diary that allows me to understand and make peace with my thoughts and emotions. So that I can move on.
I miss my parents. I miss sharing my experiences with them. I miss being able to call my mom from Malaysia and telling her that the Malaysians laughed at my quirky American humor.