“Are you going to pick her up from Van Don?”
“No. If she can leave America safely, then she can take care of herself the rest of the way.”
I guess, that’s true. Yet, my Mom rarely says such a thing. The closer I am from home, the “babier” (if that’s even a word) I become. My parents never let me go to the northern provinces. My parents were so angry when I said I would backpack to the Philippines. My parents were protective when I offered to run a couple of errands for them. I don’t know why. Every day, I reminded them that I had gone a long way, and it’s hard to undo what I have learned and gained and become.
I want to say that I have grown up, that I am more independent day by day. But I am far from paying them back what they have done for me. It is easy to monetize my tuition or my monthly rent or my daily food consumption. It is impossible to measure how much love buried in every action of a father and a mother. How much care hidden behind the nagging. I used to say it’s the prison one can only die to get out of. But I also like to say it’s the fortune of a child.
I am flying home tonight. What’s ahead I know very little of. What’s behind is already behind: fear and pride. I wish to change nothing and wish to control nothing.