我的爸爸+我的妈妈 My Father My Mother

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This is a really sweet set of 2 books about fathers and mothers.

The whole book 我的妈妈 only has the words 妈妈, and here we really see the illustrations shine. There’s something that all of us can relate to!

Throughout the little girl’s life,
from baby days
to toddlerhood
schooling days
teenage years
adulthood
she calls for mama.
小女孩逐渐长大
叫着“妈妈”
有着不同的心情、含义、需求、感触

以前我们是儿女
今天已为人父母
如今我们的孩子们
完全依靠着我们
而眼前的孩子们
一天一天长大
终究会独立
可能也有属于自己的家庭
这就这所谓的人生吧

We paused the longest at the scene where the daughter was with her mama on the hospital bed, attached to a heart monitor with a drip. My eldest asked why would the sick mama be smiling when her daughter visited? Wouldn’t she be sad if she’s suffering?I replied that to have one’s child visit and show care brings comfort and joys even in seasons of sickness, suffering and pain.

We also stopped for a long while at the page where the heart activity on the monitor gradually changed to a flat line, and the numbers on the monitor showed 00, the daughter held her mum’s hand to her cheek and tears flowed.

妈妈历经沧桑的手

曾是那个小时候教我们走路,牵着的手

安抚我们的害怕与焦虑,给予拥抱的手

养育我们,为我们吃饭喝水的手

离开人间后,变成不能动、冷冰冰的手

I also shared with the boys stories of caring for people at the final days of their lives and witnessing deathbed moments, in my years working as a nurse in the wards.

We talk about the frailty of life, about 生老病死.

We learn to cherish each other, and live each day as if it were our last.

In the book about fathers, there’s a running narrative of 4 fathers teaching their children different things like cycling, skipping stones, flying a kite and swimming. It was heartwarming because these are the things we do with our kids now.

Excerpt:
“我叫嚷着寻找爸爸,
转过身,
发现爸爸真的一直在我身后。
只是高大有力的爸爸不见了,
只剩下年迈佝偻的爸爸,
坐在长椅上。”

我们长大,
孩子们一天一天长大,
我们的父母们也逐渐变老。

Truth be told, many of us in Asian families may not have the best and trusted relationships with our parents.

Nevertheless, we can always make the most of it and let that life experience guide us to be better parents to our own offspring! There is hope and when we know better, we can do better!

Recommended for ages: 2 and up

Translated from: Korean

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