My name is Stephanie. This is my family. As you can see, I’m surrounded by testosterone – this means there are a lot of “farts”, “poop”, and “barf” jokes. The little guy on my back is the youngest in our clan, Caleb. Right behind him is our oldest son, Samuel, and the handsome guy he is attached to is my other whole (honestly, life would be a right mess without him, so he definitely gets more than “half”), my husband, my rock, my favorite guy (unless he forgot to empty the dishwasher…than he becomes my 19th favorite guy), Jonathan.
I’m first generation Canadian born in my family, the youngest of two (with a brother five years older), raised in a fairly traditional Chinese home, broke the first of many stereotypes when I chose the occupation of a teacher rather than one of the Chinese Big Three (doctor, engineer, lawyer), and then *gasp*…married the White Man. Actually, my family really didn’t care, so long as my husband ate all the weird foods put in front of him without questioning it.
I am what you would call a “banana”…they say I’m yellow on the outside, but white on the inside. However, I’m not void of all my Chinese roots. For example, when I married my husband, I insisted he sell his Mustang and get a Honda Civic. I play the piano…and require that my sons also learn. I save all the ketchup packages, napkins, plastic forks, spoons, disposable chopsticks and soy sauce packets out of take out orders…not because I will ever use them, but that’s what my people do. I drive terribly. I need to bargain and get a better price…even if that 6 year old kid at the garage sale says he’s saving up for science camp because his dream is to be in space. It doesn’t matter. If that toy is marked at $1, I’m only going to pay 50 cents for it. I don’t care if it IS a limited edition, mint condition 2,000 piece Star Wars scene of when Luke Skywalker finds out Darth Vadar was his father. Congee fixes everything. If you have a cold, eat congee. If you are sick to your stomach, eat congee. If you are pregnant, eat congee. If you just had a baby, eat congee. If you’re not hungry, just eat a little bit of congee. I take pictures of food on my travels, even if it’s not mine. When I speak Chinese (albeit, poorly), I get loud about it and I always sound angry (I don’t know why that is, but it’s true). So you see, I still hold strong to my heritage.
However, I would like to think I’m more of an “evolved Asian”. Here’s where the “white” part of the banana starts to show. When my son brings home a report card, and there’s a subject that is not an A+, but rather an A-, I do NOT spank him. A small part of me just dies inside and I smile painfully (sort of like I’m passing a kidney stone…not that I ever had any, but they say it’s painful), put my hand on his shoulder like my supportive white husband would, and say, “Good job, son. You did very good”, as I push aside all the mental images of him being a grown adult who is now homeless and panhandling on the street corner holding a sign that says, “It all fell apart for me when I got that A- in Social Studies in Grade 2”. I now clap in support when in activities like Track and Field, my son finishes 9th out of 10 and goes up for his participation ribbon. I no longer keep my remotes wrapped in the original plastic bag it came in from the box, OR wrap it Saran wrap. My eight year old son told me this year he wants to quit piano and take up guitar…and I am actually considering this option (hey, I’m still a work in progress). The biggest shock of all to my entire Asian family *pause for dramatic effect and drum roll*, now that my youngest son could be in Kindergarten, I am choosing NOT to return back to work, but I’m going to home school my children. I am sure somewhere in the world, an Asian just stopped midway as they were about to eat a bite of rice off the chopsticks, and in their utter shock, the bite of rice has now dropped on the floor, next to their foot, which is in a white sock…in an open sandal.
If I could sum me up in a few sentences, I would say this. I love my God. I love my family. I love my friends. I love to laugh and love to make others laugh, as I think our society has forgotten that a spoon full of laughter makes the medicine come out your nose and makes you forget why you are sick (this should have been the original lyrics in the song, in my opinion). I like to keep things real and remind other people that behind those perfect Instagram pictures is a dirty kitchen, a pile of unfolded laundry and a crying baby in a velcro suit that you just stuck to a velcro wall to sneak in that precious 10 seconds to take that DANG selfie.
If you like my posts, and find someone else might enjoy them, please feel free to share and invite them to follow The Journey of a Crazy Asian Mom! Thanks for reading.