2.17.2004 Telling My Parents *The News*
It was a welcome sight to see my parents walk through the gate at the airport. I had been waiting for about two hours just standing in various positions with no where to sit. My parents didn't seem to have changed at all -- they've only been away for about three months this time, but my mom's arm was in a cast. She had injured herself slipping on a wet floor while over in China. They were happy to see me too. I helped with the bags, retrieved the car, and we were on the way home.
It was initially different to have them back again, and very comforting at the same time. Elizabeth, Megan, and I had moved into their house since we last saw them, and really changed things around a bit. So there was the looming hope that they will approve with what we've done with the place. There were also the looming thoughts of what I have to tell them about Elizabeth, Megan, and I.
I wasn't really looking forward to delivering any distressful news to them -- especially something like your son and his family has decided to move away.
I've been tormenting over this for weeks now. I've rehearsed it over and over again in my head. I believe I've covered all the scenarios that may arise. But nonetheless, I still couldn't kick this somewhat gnawing guilt-like feeling eating away at me. I couldn't really pinpoint why I was feeling guilty. Maybe I just know that the news may sort of hurt them too. And I would just be the evil son that I am then, especially how they have supported me all these years.
Maybe it has something to do with tradition too. And, although I was born and raised here in the United States, a *jook sing* the Chinese term is, my sense of family value is still skewed toward being traditional Chinese. And the Chinese tradition was that the descendant families followed the male family. Instead, what it may appear to be happening is that although we're planning to move to Houston for the lifestyle, this also happens to be the place where Elizabeth's parents are located. The last thing I want to do was to insult my parents by indirectly rejecting them. I certainly didn't mean this.
It may have to do something with just being a decent son also. After all the years after graduating college, my parents wanted me to relocate back home from Rochester. Instead, I stayed living there for many years. Finally, in 1999, I had delivered the delightful news to them that we were moving home. We were moving back to New York City. They opened their arms to us and the look on my mother's face said it all -- she was so proud of me and she was so, oh so happy, to have me home again. I remembered her cooking my favorite dishes for a first few nights and just smiled a hearty smile whenever I see her.
Since we've been back in the city, I think that I've also grown closer to my parents more than ever before. It was different - I'm an adult now. And we've had a lot of wonderful chances to relate adult to adult and also had the chance to rub off on each other now and again. They have grown so proud of me. Once in a while, I would ask them what I should do in a certain situation. Their initial reaction is just to pause for a second, and with a small smile, just to look at their son. I see this. And, it makes me feel so good.
I still remember the time after we moved down here from Rochester and we wanted to move out to find an apartment. They grew a little bit insulted, but I knew they just felt a little bit hurt. And also, we were just moving fifteen minutes away, so it really wasn't a drastic move. They got used to the idea after a while and it was alright. It wasn't really a big deal and life went on.
This time it was different. I knew this. This was a lot more drastic, and just seemed more permanent. I knew that they wouldn't be seeing their son as often any more. Yes, it's only a three hour plane ride, but it was a world apart from a fifteen minute car ride. And for me, it meant that every time I would see them, I would notice how much older they were getting.
Well, for the first day or so, I walked around with a restless smile knowing that I had to *drop the bomb*, more or less. And two days later, the opportunity arose. It was early evening and my father was watching television in the living room. I decided to sit next to him.
"Ba?" I said, "Listen... I need to tell you something..."
I told him about what our plans were. I also told him about what I was planning to do about work while I was in Houston. He asked me a few questions and smiled warmly to me. He didn't seem surprised nor disappointed and I knew this was a good start...
We're thinking sometime in March or April.