Take yourself back to the most memorable day in your life. Remember the elation? Remember the sheer joy you felt? Remember those who surrounded you?
This past weekend, my boy and I felt that feeling again. A couple of years ago, on a cold weekend (Aren’t most days cold in Wisconsin?), with the man away, I set out a Times Square 1000-piece puzzle. I said to the boy, “If we put this puzzle together before your father returns on Monday, I will take you to Times Square.”
He worked diligently and completed it. So, last weekend in celebration of his journey into teenhood, we met up with our best friends from Virginia, Adrienne and her son, Nick. Our relationship with this family is like a favorite pair of pajamas … immediately comfortable.
Adrienne picked us up from our hotel in DC, and we set off to Gettysburg to pick up Nick from a school trip.
As you may recall, Adrienne and I are both Korean. We both married Englishmen who studied at Cambridge University. Essentially being of the same genetic background, we often joke about Asian myths. Of course, the jokes this time were rooted in truth. It took us well over an hour to exit DC, despite having paper Google directions and two iPhones running Apple Maps and Google Maps. Adrienne describes this fiasco here in her own blog.
We arrived in Gettysburg at a small motel to pick up Nick. The lobby was simple with a small “Retail Therapy” shop. This shop did not put us at ease with its Confederate flags flying. Another reality … uneasiness in rural areas where few Asians live.
This uneasiness was quickly dispelled as we made our way to the Big Apple. We arrived in New York City and immediately, Adrienne and I began documenting the boy’s trip! We were fulfilling the next Asian myth … obnoxious camera-slinging mothers.
These boys are no strangers to this behavior. My boy carried his camera around as well, and eventually the boys captured us.
Adrienne also writes in more depth about our photographic obsessions in her blog. We continued to document our travels around the city that never sleeps.
Back in the days of my youth, I hated the references by others, mostly Caucasian, to those Asian myths … good at math, poor drivers, obnoxious camera carriers.
Today, I relish these commonalities with my Asian friends, and I am comfortable in my own skin. I see the same things in my son and daughter. Their love of paper, Asian design, Asian foods and Asian trinkets emphasizes my connection to them.
New York City was the perfect place for me to connect with our friends, my son and our Asian side. In that vast city, we discovered Pearl River, Chinatown, and Uniqlo. Asian myths … bring ’em on!