Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Notes for my baby, part 2

In which Thu details a little bit about herself and her life, pre-baby.

Dear Baby,

I know the general perception is that kids never realize that their parents were people before the kids came along. I know this because I have students who believe that I have no life outside of the classroom. So here is a little bit about me, baby, so that you know what kind of person your mother is.

- I'm 26 years old. Considering the trend right now, that's young (I guess) to be having a baby, but your Grandma Ngo was 23 when she had me. These days, people wait until their 30's.

- I'm in my third year of teaching high school English right this second. I didn't always want to be a teacher. Like most children of Asian immigrants, I spent most of my life thinking that I SHOULD be a doctor. (You're allowed to call me on it if I ever force you to be a doctor against your will.) I wanted to be a pediatrician because I wanted to help kids. Eventually, I realized that literature was my true passion, and that I could help kids in other ways, so I decided to teach. I've had awesome moments, and I've had really difficult moments, but I wouldn't trade this for anything. I really feel like this is my calling.

- I feel that I am a compassionate person and I believe in equality. Every generation has its battles for civil rights, and I'm not sure what yours will be, but throughout my life, despite previous decades of fighting for equal rights for different races and for women, racism and sexism still exist. The really big issue right now is homophobia. For example, it's not really appropriate anymore to go into public and use the n-word, but people get away with saying homophobic slurs all the time. It's the last "acceptable" form of hate, and your mom here is among those trying to stop it, as well as all other forms of hate. I don't know what your generational issue will be, but I hope that you will be fighting hate too.

- My major interests right now are knitting, running, baseball, music, film, and literature. I don't know if that will change after a while or not. I also was going to join roller derby, but the day before my first practice, I found out I was pregnant with you. I'm not saying this to make you feel bad or anything - I will probably join as soon as I'm able to :)

- I've been knitting for three years. You probably have a bunch of knitted things from me already. It's my stress reliever, my creative hobby.

- I'm not much of a runner, but I hope someday to run a whole marathon. Maybe we could do one together?

- Baseball! My team is the SF Giants, which means that they're your team too. I will NOT compromise on this one. You could become a hippie growing vegetables on a commune instead of having a job, but you BETTER love the Giants. Right now, it's the off-season, and it looks like 2009 is going to be an awesome year. The Giants haven't made the playoffs since 2003 - we haven't really come CLOSE to making the playoffs since 2004 - and I really think that this year could be a big year. What if you're a pennant race baby? If the Giants are in the world series, you, me, and Daddy are going for sure :)

- Music - I don't know if these names will mean ANYTHING to you by the time you read this, but I love Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Pulp, John Lennon, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I'm kind of a hipster snob (a little bit). When I was younger, I used to go to shows all the time, but now it's kind of hard for me to deal with big crowds. I'm also quite short, so I can't see over the people.

- Film - I can be a snob too, but mostly I don't go out to movies much. My favorite movie is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Within my generation, dvd's were invented, and I don't think they are going anywhere anytime soon, so you might also have dvd's. Thanks to film technology, I will be able to show you some of my favorites from my childhood: the Goonies, Labyrinth, and Transformers (the cartoon, not the live action one). I don't know, your dad knows more about movies (and everything else) than I do. More about him later.

- Literature - this is my thing. I love to read, though I find I'm having less and less time to. At this point, I'm not sure what you are yet, but if you're a girl, chances are, I named you Jane Beatrice, which you should know has literary origins. Jane comes from Jane Austen, my favorite author, and Beatrice is my favorite Shakespearean female character, from Much Ado About Nothing. They are women who are smart and witty. I want you, as a woman, to be those things too. (If you're a boy, then you're probably named after someone else. Ask me sometime.)

- Anyway, all of that above is how I like to spend my time. I like going out to dinner with my friends, going to movies, spending time with your daddy. I don't really lead a complex life, but it's enough to make me happy.

- I'm basically a very calm person. Unless I'm stressed out. But otherwise, count on me to be a soothing influence. My laid-back-ness might even get irritating at times.

- I'm also very loving. I love very strongly and I'm very loyal to people I love. That includes you, sweetheart :)

Okay. That's a little bit about what I like and what I am like. I don't know how much I will change by the time you read this, but I hope I retain all the good things.

I love you, dearest baby.

Love, Mom.

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