1. My thanks

Last year, I filled out a survey about my relationship with my mom for TaiwaneseAmerican.org as part of its Mothers & Daughters project, not knowing exactly what would come of it.

On Mother's Day this year, the org shared the near final project with me. I then shared it with my mom, and she responded that it was one of the best gifts I've ever given her, i.e. public recognition for how awesome she is. Let this be an extension of that: I love you, Mommy, and am so very proud to be your daughter.

2. Could I do it?

While my mom has been away these past two weeks, I've had to stand in for her as Cooper's primary caregiver, and it's deepened my gratitude. Cooper is our family dog, a 2.5 year-old, 21-pound shih tzu who has been described by a neighbor as "a box of wiggles." He is a fur ball, LOVES people, walks, belly scratches, and devouring carrots, but only in our presence. 

I don't claim to have experienced motherhood, but I think I've gotten a sense, and last night was particularly eye opening, both lit and fig. Cooper woke me up at 3 am whimpering; he needed to pee. Exhausted, I slipped into my Crocs and beared the cold air in our backyard, while he peed on some rocks. Back inside, I directed him to follow me upstairs, he refused, whimpered some more and went into the laundry room. I don't know why. He wouldn't come to bed. Was something wrong? I was so tired, I couldn't wait around to find out. I left the door open, went back to bed, but couldn't fall back asleep, anxious, maybe he had to throw up (he has a sensitive stomach) or had been confronted with a spirit, or worse, an intruder. I went back down and spent 10 minutes luring him back to bed. At last he followed me, curled up on the bed, and prepared to sleep. but I still felt uneasy. He woke me up again three hours later. This time, he had to throw up. He did so on the carpet. I hurried him out on the patio in case of round two. He went out, while I cleaned up his throw up (tG for Tide To Go). When he came back inside, I had to clean the throw up off of his face and paws.

Cooper demands my attention almost 24/7, and when I leave him at home, I feel guilty. I don't like making him wait for me. The sense of urgency I've experienced in my heart as I am driving home, I described to my mom one time, and she said it is precisely what she felt back in the day when she would race to my daycare after work to pick me up. She wanted to get to me as soon as humanly possible. 

I know this is nothing compared to being a real mother, especially to a fussy newborn with an irregular sleep schedule, but the thought crossed my mind: Could I do it for real? ...Probably. With a smile and a full heart? Probably not...yet.

3. More thanks

When that time comes for me, I am sure my heart will well up in appreciation for everything my mom (and my dad) went through to raise me and my bro, and little Coops. Anyway, it's never too early to show my thanks. When my mom returns home on Sunday, I will present her with a very clean house, a clean Cooper, and a big hug. Can't wait.

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Authorjustine lee