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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dear Sunny...

We went to the Mekong market this weekend, and I thought of you.  The only reason we went was because Jude needed a hair cut.  Need?  Well not really need.  But he likes the feel of the back of his head when it's cut really short.  Like this, Papa. he says as he rubs his hand up the back his hair.  And so a hair cut was in order because you know your papa says no to almost nothing where his loves are concerned.
Luv that you can see Papa texting on his phone while he stays with Jude to get his hair cut!
So we went to Mekong to immerse ourselves in the middle of the Asian community, to be a minority. 'Cause you know how important it is to periodically immerse yourself in a world where you're the one that looks different, right?  Did I teach you that while you were here?  I hope so.  It's important.  I know you have a large Hispanic community where you are.  Be in it.  Feel how it is to be the Caucasian girl in the middle of dark skinned people. It's good to do that.  God makes us all the same on the inside you know.
So Papa, who speaks only 1 word of Vietnamese, (Thank you. Okay maybe that's 2 words.) pointed the the man that cut Jude's hair last time and then pointed to the haircut in the book that Jude wanted  and that was that.  Me and Papa, the two white people in a world of Asians.  I'm not sure if Papa actually said thank you in Vietnamese or not when it was done.  I hope so.  Sometimes it feels like we have so little to pass on to the little ones about where they came from.
See... the same ol' counter where we used to order boba smoothies together.  And the same ol' sign we still can't read either!
Mimi was bored of course, and I was thinking of you.  So the two of us headed over to get a boba smoothie at just the same place while we waited.  It hasn't changed any.  There are still about 30 types of smoothies and only 1 or 2 of them don't sound like seriously odd flavors.  So I stuck with my standard pineapple coconut just like you and I used to get.  It's funny that Jude just doesn't like boba.  He just doesn't get it, slurping up those gummy balls through the straw in his drink.  Thank you for making them when you lived here.  Boba always reminds me of you.
Jude is still quite unable to sit in a chair without falling out from all his wiggly and giggly.  Many things haven't changed. 
Then we had lunch a couple doors down.  There is a new Thai restaurant that they put in right next to the bakery.  It was good and had the prettiest Thai iced tea complete with rosette flower straw wrapper.  Papa had the curry, I had wide noodles with broccoli, Jude had fried spring rolls and we asked Mimi what she wanted and she said plain white rice.  So we got her Pad Thai, but she wanted nothing to do with it so we ordered her plain white rice later.  I have no idea what we were thinking getting her noodles.  Parenting kills brain cells you know.  I'm sorry about that.  You were our first and we didn't actually know what we were doing a lot of the time when you were little.  Still don't actually.
Papa getting us a very small 25 lb bag of rice from the rice isle. 
Then we went and did a bit of shopping.  We needed rice and you know how big the rice isle at Mekong is!  Of course there's lots of fruits that are all shrink wrapped too.  And as you remember it's always pretty crazy packed in the produce section.  And we also needed to stock up on coconut milk, and this is the cheapest place to get it.  $1 a can compared to $3 a can if I get it up at the market by the house.

And I know you remember the little bear cookies!  Tess has become the chocoholic of the family so she gets the chocolate ones with chocolate filling every time.  I urge Mimi to get the plain flavor ones with chocolate filling because they are my favorite, and you know I'm gonna sneak a few of course.  My bad.  And Jude tries to like them, but he really doesn't like them at all.  Crazy boy loves his fruits and veggies diet no matter how much I try Americanize him and make him like crap food!  It's odd.  I got you a box of these cookies to put in your next care package.  They did make it home, but I'm sorry, someone sneakily ate them.  As usually I can narrow down the suspects, but can't say who ate them for sure. So I'll get you a couple more next time I visit MeKong.

And I also got you a couple cans of Thai Tea.  Do they have these in New Mexico too?  I know you love them!
They also made it home, and they too are also missing.  Maybe nobody ate the cookies at all.  Maybe yours truly just can't find stuff.  Both scenarios for the disappearing stuff are totally possible and probable.

Then there is the noodle isles pictured below.  They are still packed with more types of noodles than we even knew existed.  Do you see those bowls of noodles in the bottom right of the pic in the round bowls?  We discovered how good they are in China.  They are like really good Top Ramen.  If they have any at your little Asian market, give them a  try.  There's really nothing in them that's good for you except surely sodium and MSG, but they are fast and easy.  Beware that the hot ones are HOT.
Your favorite squid salad!  I can't pass it without thinking of you. 
And just like always, a visit to the Vietnamese bakery for coconut bread is last. Oh my. I am still addicted to it!
It's been a year and a half since we said our goodbyes, and I'm still quite at a loss without you.  There's this hole in my heart where you're everyday life used to be.  And where I used to be right next to you in it.  I've been told that that hole actually never goes away.  I miss your company, sweet daughter.  I miss the crazy gene that I'm obviously passed on to you since you're father obviously isn't responsible for it.  I miss dance parties in the living room and the stories you'd tell.  Okay truth be told, I don't miss the piles, but I sure would be willing to get past them to have you with me.

I know from our talks and texts that nursing school is kicking your butt these days.  Although I have to say that you look SO cute in scrubs!  Please remember that the best most wonderful things can come from the things that are hard.  There is nothing wrong with hard work.  It will end.  Keep persevering and not only will you get through it, but the rewards will be everything you've hoped for and more.  I know that you already know this, and I also know that knowing it and doing it are two very different things indeed.  You can do this.  Yes, you will make mistakes and that's to be expected.  Learn from them and move on.  That's all anyone can ask. In someways I know you better than you know yourself, and you have absolutely everything in you to finish this strong!

Send my love to the Airman too.  I already love him so much.  We have no doubt that he is a wonderful man!  You and he are good together, knit from the same cloth of dreams, aspirations and action.

All my love,


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