Now you all know how I got here in the first place: Humnoy was born and all I could think was to do the absolute best to maintain my culture for him so that began this blog. To be completely honest, I don’t think I’d really even care about breastfeeding or elimination communication if it had not been my entire existence in the first place. If it were not for my mother and for my mother’s mother, I literally would not be here today. I would not be the woman, the (shitty) wife, the mother, the friend I claim to be today. Just peep my grandmother’s prop in the slideshow below and you’ll know why I’m much more alike than different than a refugee matriarch. Even if it weren’t for that Laotian Village that is woven into my culture’s sense of community, I still wouldn’t be half of those identities.
I am fiercely proud of being a Laotian mother only because I’m trying to make my truest inspiration, the Original Laotian Mama, proud as if she could still see me being a mama if she were alive today. My Mae Tao raised and transitioned four living children from a war-torn country to America. My own Mae not only had to adjust to a whole new culture but also birth and be a parent in this entire new culture. I would just like to say I ain’t shit compared to The Original Laotian Mamas:
1979: The year the first living grandchild was born to my aunt in a refugee camp and also the year my family traveled to America.
1986: The year the first American-born grandchild was born. Moi!
1987 – 1993: In just 5 more years, my mother had three more American-born children, including one with special needs.
2000-2007: I am a rebellious and free-spirited teenager and my mother does not know what to do with me.
2008: My mother cleans toilets to put me through college.
2009: My Mae Tao suddenly passes away.
2010: I am unknowingly pregnant the same week I graduated college with the first great-grandchild just nine months after my grandmother’s death.
2013: I am a mother to two under two.
2014: I survived being a mother to two because of the Original Laotian Mamas.
Happy Mothers Day to you and your Original Mamas!