No, but it’s one filled with wonder and beauty anyway.  I am a part of what I consider generation 1/2.  I wasn’t born in the United States, but I grew up here and have no memories of any other place.  My childhood left me with an interesting perspective on very traditional Asian vs. very modern American.  The basis of all this really started long before I was born – with the trials that my parents faced.  Unfortunately, this is something that carries memories that are painful and so it is a rare occurrence that we will get to hear a story of their own childhoods.  Sometimes though, we can catch a glimpse as they tell us about the transition from Vietnam to America.  When those stories start, I learned to just shut up and listen because I didn’t want to break this tenuous connection, as fragile and beautiful as an intricate spider’s web.  If you’re not careful, you may not see it and you might just walk by it, missing the glistening pearls of dew radiating off of each line or the struggle of a caught fly.

“Argiope Aurantia (yellow garden spiders) bring good luck.” ~ Photo courtesy of Kirsten Neff

My husband has developed the most wonderful relationship with my father – one that I am sometimes jealous of.  This has evolved through his deep respect and admiration for my dad and his uncanny ability to know when to speak and when to be quiet, guiding the conversation or stepping back to take Dad’s lead.  It’s a dance of sorts and result is the enjoyment they find in each other’s company as they rib each other about their political views and the ways of life.  Mom has been in Vietnam visiting my grandma, so Dad was without his co-pilot for a couple of weeks.  Our evening with Dad started with one of those innocuous talks – who Romney will elect as VP, whether President Obama will win re-election, the impact of ObamaCare – and ended as one of the most thrilling evenings of my life.  2.5 hours of dad telling Eddie about days that I was far too young to remember.  It was really the story – no, the history – of how he achieved the American dream.

When the evening started I had no idea where it would lead.  Luckily I happened to be on my laptop and when I realized where the conversation was headed, I opened up a new Word document and let my fingers fly.  I was so glad that I was able to type fast enough to keep up with the stories!  This was magic.  Not the wave a wand, add an abra cadabra and poof begone act, but real magic.  I’ll have to break this up into multiple posts or else I’ll end up with more than I think can be absorbed in one sitting.  I’m still awestruck and reeling from everything I heard, so I’m going to need some time to process all this.  Sorry to leave you on a cliffhanger…