3 To Mom, From Emilie
I have always been a perfectionist, and so for the past eighteen years, I’ve tried to be the perfect daughter. But I am only human.
I do stupid things for the wrong reasons. I make you worry all the time. I am not and will never be perfect. But I’ve realized that you love me the same.
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for knowing how stupid I am and still loving me.
People think all Asian mothers are “tiger moms.” But you prove them all wrong because you’ve never wanted anything from me except for me to be happy.
It’s Mother’s Day, so I wanted you to know that I love you too.
I love it when we snuggle together to watch our Chinese shows; I love how I always know exactly what you’re going to say; I love how you make the best 红烧排骨 (hóngshāo páigǔ) that no one else makes quite the same way.
You’re not a perfect mom, but that’s OK. Because I love you.
4 To my “best friend,” Rhona, From Emma
The fact that you only get one national holiday that celebrates everything you do as a mother is a crime in and of itself. I know for a fact you are the glue, the connector, that holds our crazy family together.
Without you, Dad wouldn’t be able make up his mind, Luke would forget to eat, Will’s eyes would fall out from excessive video gaming. And I would have NO ONE to talk to.
It’s hard to put into words how grateful I am that you are my mom. There is no one that pushes me harder, believes in me more, or supports my crazy spending habits like you do.
Only in recent years have I truly begun to understand how you put everything you have to offer this world into our family.
I’m proud to call myself part of your support system now. But the decades that you have managed our violin lessons, doctor’s appointments, countless allergy scandals and more, really speak to the shining inner strength only a loving mother can possess.
I really don't think I would be the Emma standing here today without you. I learned from the start how to never apologize for taking up space as a woman.
While you commanded space in your doctor’s office, I learned how to hone my artistic voice. I probably would have pledged to a sorority and be decked out in Uggs if you didn’t remind me I didn’t have to be like every white girl at my high school.
I probably wouldn’t have learned so much about my grandmother and our family history if you didn’t encourage me to. I probably never would have moved across the world to immerse myself in our Filipino heritage if you didn’t validate my interest.
I’ve been able to grow into an authentic and confident version of myself that would make 13-year-old me proud. All thanks to you.
To finish it off, here’s my rehearsed award-winning Oscar acceptance speech, “I’d like to thank my mother: for holding my hand through the countless creative fits, for reading every draft I had to offer, for reminding me of my creative worth, and seeing me for the star I’ve always been. Oh, yeah. My dad’s here too. Thanks Joe.”
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You deserve it and so much more.