They called her old fashioned and behind the times for wanting to sew her owns clothes instead of buying them from the store.
“It’s so convenient. You just need to pick the designs you like and you can wear it straight away.”
She had complete control over her creation and tailor made them to the intended wearer. Clothes that would grow with a growing child, practical pockets for the females in her life, and secret pockets for the males in her life for their courting gifts and the ever precious engagement ring (ah, her boys grew up so quickly).
Every stitch was a prayer of health, safety, peace. That the children would grow and mature safely into adulthood, that her girls would find men who would respect and honour them, that her boys would find women who would inspire them to be the best they could be.
Her loved ones couldn’t get that from clothing off the rack.
*Cultural note: Chinese families (and many Asian families) refer to each other by their family standing rather than name. Mandarin terminology used in this story:
Mama – mother
Didi – younger brother
Jiejie – older sister
Gege – older brother
Baba – father
~Other Ways to Love~
‘Buy a gift for the one you love’
The poster said with a picture of shiny rocks.
He tugged Mama’s pants and pointed up at the poster.
“I want that,” he said.
Mama shook her head with a chuckle. “You’re a little young for that, Didi.”
“But it says buy for the one you love,” he said, “Don’t you love me?”
The rest of the family laughed. He shrunk into himself, feeling hurt.
“There are other ways to love someone,” Mama said gently.
“Like letting you play my game even if it messes up my high score,” Jiejie said.
“Bringing you and your friends out to watch your movies,” Gege said.
“Taking you swimming,” Baba said.
“Saving your plant for science class,” Mama said.
“What about you? How do you love us, Didi?” Jiejie asked.
He frowned and thought hard. An idea appeared.
“I give hugs,” he said and squeezed Jiejie who was closest.
“Mine’s better,” Jiejie said and lifted him off the floor. She spun him in the air and only put him down when he couldn’t walk straight.
“Again!” he said with a dizzy giggle.
“My turn,” Gege said and swept him up in one arm.
He laughed, poster and its shiny rocks forgotten.
Happy Valentines Day 🙂
Read more about the family in Their Laughter.
He loved like a slow cooker, long and slow.
She loved like fireworks. BANG! And it was over.
So when she confessed to him, it was both the best and the worst thing that could have happened.
The best, because the woman he had a crush on liked him too.
The worst, because her infatuation, like all the others she’d had before, would be over in a week.
“I’m flattered, but we both know this is just a phase,” he said.
“But I’m serious,” she insisted.
“You said the same thing with Robert, and Jack, and Tom.”
“Yes, but I didn’t confess to them.”
That… was true.
“If you still feel the same way after six months, I’ll consider it.”
“Six months? That’s too long. What about three?”
“So you’re not serious then?”
Her lips twisted into a pout. “Fine. Six months.”
Life resumed. He forgot about the conversation.
“It’s been six month,” she said out of the blue.
“I still like you.”
It took him an embarrassingly long time before he remembered what she was talking about. By then, she had transitioned from nervous to indignant.
“I thought you already moved on!” he defended himself.
“Well, I didn’t, so take me seriously. I like you,” she said, repeating what she confessed to him half a year ago. He couldn’t believe it. She really didn’t change her mind.
“Me too,” he said, still in a shocked daze, “I’ve liked you for more than two years now.”
Indignation turned to wonder, then back again. She slapped his shoulder. “Then why did you make me wait six months?”
“I had to be sure. You change your mind all the time. I didn’t want to just be another ‘crush of the week’.” He twisted away when she slapped his shoulder again.
“That’s because I wasn’t serious about them. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve never confessed to any of those ‘crush of the week’,” she said.
Looking back, she was right.
She folded her arms with a huff. “You should be. Compensate me for all the sleepless nights I’ve had because you made me wait six months.”
He could have pointed out that he had been waiting for even longer, but he hadn’t waited so long just to get into a fight with her when they could be starting a new chapter together.
“Sure. I’ll bring you out on a date to remember.”
An amused smile softened her face, and he fell in love all over again.
“I can’t wait.”
Genre: family, slice of life
Ang pao: red packets given out during Chinese New Year
He had a card, a table-ful of crafts, and an instruction.
“Make a Mother’s Day card.”
He ignored the chatter of the other kids to focus on his card. Mummy was the best mummy in the world, so he would make the best card in the world.
He folded the card in half, because that was how cards looked like. Mummy liked oranges, so he drew a lot of oranges. Oranges made him think of ang paos, so he drew that too. Belatedly, he squeezed in a drawing of his family and the new dog.
“Your parents are here. Don’t forget to give your cards to your mothers.”
Finally, he ran out of blank spaces, and he wrote:
Tears pricked at his eyes. It was too late to make a new card.
“What’s wrong?” Daddy asked.
He just stared down at his card.
“Oh darling, that looks wonderful,” Mummy said.
“I wrote it wrong,” he said, close to tears.
“I think it looks wonderful.”
He shook his head and grabbed the card to throw it away. Mummy placed a hand over his.
“May I take this?”
The card was already ruined. It didn’t matter anymore. He nodded.
Mummy smoothed the crumpled card and picked up the crayon he used. With the crayon, Mummy drew over the wrong words until it became a pretty ‘Happy Mother’s Day’. His eyes sparkled. Mummy could fix anything!
“How about that?” Mummy said.
“Mummy is amazing!”
“We’re just missing one thing.” Mummy handed him the crayon. “Your name.”
He wrote his name on the card and gave it to Mummy.
“Happy Mother’s Day!”
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. May you be loved, treasured and empowered!
You are my sun, and I your moon. No matter where you are, I will not turn my back on you.
You are my sun, and I the stars that pale in comparison to your brightness. You may not see me in the daytime, but in dark times, know that I will be there to shine the way.
“Should I be jealous that my husband is writing such sweet promises to another woman?” his wife said over his shoulder.
He pressed his lips to her hand.
“She is my sun, but you are my world. Without you, there is no us,” he said.
“Silly romantic. If our daughter is our sun, then we are the planets that orbit her. We have our own lives, but we will always be connected,” his wife said.
“Also, the moon always faces the earth, not the sun.”
“Shh… It’s called artistic licence. Just accept it with me.”
Response to the prompt astral.
It’s not easy to parody genre clichés. People use clichés because they work. To create something to make fun of clichés requires an intimate knowledge of the genre and a creative mind, while at the same time weaving this ‘take that’s into an enjoyable story.
Ouran High School Host Club (Ouran for short) and Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! (Love! for short) are two series that parodies their genre and still entertains.
And lesbians and bisexuals and homophobes and liars and thieves and murderers and psychopaths…
We’ve all heard John 3:16 at one point: “For God so loved the world…”. The world, as in the world and everything on it. That means everyone. Including homosexuals.
God tells us to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27). Who is our neighbour? According to the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), ‘neighbour’ pretty much means everyone. Including homosexuals.
Just because you love homosexuals doesn’t mean you have to support gay marriage. You can love your parents/friends/siblings even though they take drugs, but that doesn’t have to mean that you have to support them taking drugs. Disagreeing with gay marriage is not a sign of homophobia. You’re just an individual expressing his/her right to have an opinion. What is homophobia is if you curse them or throw them out of your home/shop/hotel whatever only because they are homosexuals.
Sure, according to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin, but so is pride, sloth, mockery, lying, adultery, murder, being judgemental and so many other things. If serial killers or people who read porn can still be Christians, why not homosexuals? And according to the Bible, sex outside of marriage is considered adultery, that includes one night stands, friends-with-benefits, getting divorce and marrying someone else as if you’re changing clothes. In that case, a lot of people, especially in western countries, are adulterers, but they don’t have much problem going to church, I hope. Homosexuality is just another sin that’s blown way out of proportion. A person is not defined by their sexuality. I believe that a person’s personality is much more important.
Christians, not all homosexuals will go to hell, just like how not all Christians will go to heaven. It’s our relationship with God that counts.
Homosexuals, don’t let your sexuality stop you from going to church. Those who do not accept you because you are homosexual are not expressing the boundless love God wants us to have. And those who disagree with gay marriage do not necessarily hate homosexuals.
I, although I disagree with gay marriage, do not hate homosexuals. I love them as much as everyone else. That means that if someone tells me that they’re homosexual, I treat them like a human being and learn more about them as an individual, just as I would anyone else.