Feb 14, 2011

Sonnet for Simon

With Cheerios stuffed in your tiny mouth
and shrieks that call your pterodactyl friends,
your manner would on grown-ups be uncouth
but that your face and smile make all amends.

Can I believe that from my form came thee?
A babe who knows nothing but smiles and screams
now sits upon his throne and looks at me
for all his needs, his hopes, his wildest dreams.

Now when I hold you up, I hold myself
in smaller size and younger look, it's true,
yet somewhere deep we share that sense of self
that bonds such that no power can undo.

In time your perfection may fade a tad
but 'til that time - and long beyond - love, dad.

Feb 11, 2011

Undone (Part 2)

As the car pulled onto I-208, Sebastian sighed.  The traffic was immense, as it was nearing the afternoon rush hour and everyone seemed to have decided to leave work a bit early today.  The car crawled along the rightmost lane in silence.

Sebastian didn't feel like engaging in a conversation and the messenger simply sat there, watching the road.  After what had been nearly a half hour, Sebastian swung the wheel of the car sharply to the right and roared it onto the shoulder.  He hit the siren, floated past a few dozen cars, and took the next exit.

Suddenly, his passenger spoke up.  "Sir, this isn't the exit for the main office."

Feb 1, 2011


I didn't grow up with a true tiger mother.  I was allowed to visit friend's houses and participate in theatre.  I was allowed to choose which instrument to play and how much I wanted to practice.  If you follow the news, or listen to NPR, or even read Entertainment Weekly, you've heard of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by now.  Perhaps you've even read the Wall Street Journal excerpt that got such a polarizing response.  To recap: it's a memoir about being a parent and about driving your kids to perfection through strict control and demanding routine.

Reading the excerpt made me think about my childhood and about my role as a father to Simon.  Like I said, I wasn't a child of super-strict parenting, though I believe that my parents, having had a Chinese upbringing themselves, were stricter than those of most of my schoolmates and friends.