Thanksgiving in Houston

Family and food (and taking pictures of your sleeping kids in their cute jammies), this is what Thanksgiving is all about.

Unfortunately my sister couldn’t join us this year but I wouldn’t feel too sorry for her because her Costa Rican vacay looked fantastic. My aunts and cousins in Houston are very much like my mom’s family in Vietnam; they don’t skimp on food or hospitality, and they know how to do Thanksgiving right, which means tons of VN food alongside three (or was it four?) deep fried turkeys.

Next stop: Paris!

What I Love About Children

Children are magical creatures. Living with them is like having fairy sprites in your life. They’re miniature humans who are semi-rational and sometimes insane. They’re adorable to look at and can be maddening to deal with. They can be so logical and illogical, or maybe it’s more accurate to say that they don’t conform to adult constructs of logic and instead have their own.

For example, ever since we returned from Vietnam, the boy, unsurprisingly, has been resistant to sleeping alone in his own bed and room — a predictable outcome after co-sleeping with us for 6 months. While I was tucking him in tonight, he whimpered that he didn’t want to sleep alone, as tears trickled from his eyes. It’s hard to stay strong when all you want to do is take your crying three-year-old into your bed and cradle him until he falls asleep. I gave him a stuffed animal and tried to convince him that his bunny friend would protect him while he slept. He picked up the stuffed bunny and pointed out, very matter-of-factly, “But this is just a toy. He can’t walk or talk.” I find that I’m often impressed by my kids’ counter-arguments and negotiation skills. Earlier in the week, however, after I had scolded the kids for being mischievous and doing something that they knew they weren’t supposed to be doing, the boy turned to his sister and said, right in front of me, “Girl, let’s go somewhere where Momma can’t see us.” I couldn’t help but crack up over how transparent his attempt at deception was.

The most endearing thing, to me, about young kids is the purity of their love. They love so guilelessly and unconditionally. No one but a child (and maybe dogs?) could love so freely. Imagine loving someone who controls every aspect of your life, someone who is always either making you do things you don’t want to do or preventing you from doing things you want to do, who says “No” all the time and yells at you, who demands complete submission and obedience. And yet children love their parents and always want to be around them. It’s a beautiful, touching, and humbling gift to be a parent.