Driving into the Year of the Dragon

It’s Chinese New Year soon

Her: Wait, you’ve never been to a Sonic Drive-In?
Me: I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a drive-in, period.
Her: Well, let’s do that then.

Had to pick up the kid from NJ the other day and the Firecracker wanted to get outta the house, so she came along.

She’d met my mother-in-law a while ago but this was the first time she met my father-in-law.

It was all pretty surreal.

But everyone is so nice that it was nice.

I’d wanted to take the Firecracker to Rutt’s Hut for a ripper but then the above conversation happened – plus we were right by a Sonic – so off we went.

Unfortunately, there were only two people working that day, so we had to go through the drive-in and eat in the car.

Thought the kid would find it more entertaining but…no.

Him: This is it? We’re eating in the car? This is so weird.
Me: Yeah, I can’t remember the last time I ate in a car. Musta been when I was in college?
Her: That was what, like 50 years ago? (laughing) I used to eat in my car all the time.
Me: Really? Why?
Her: (shrugging) Going to college and working three jobs means eating whereever and whenever you can.

It was pretty good. Then again, I’m pretty easy.

The Year of the Rabbit is almost over and the year of the Dragon is about to begin.

Ever since COVID happened, I’ve not been able to see my mom for Lunar New Year.

She and my dad – like most Chinese – always thought that it was important for family to be together.

I noticed that, after my dad died, she stopped bringing it up, so I told her that I’d come this year.

But she just told me not to come since the house will be a mess.

See, my sister started a house project and it involved most of my – and my brother’s – childhood crap getting tossed.

Which I understand. But that also means that it’s gonna be another year away from her and my family for the holiday.

Her: I’m sorry. The house will be too much of a mess and…I have so much to do.
Me: But it’s Chinese New Year.
Her: I know, but…we can do it next year. You’re not mad at me, are you?

It’s fine I guess, I already told my buddy Annabel that I’d bring the kid – and the Firecracker – to Chinese New Year by her again.

The plan was to see my family first and then head to Annabel’s thing afterward, but I suppose it’s all for the best since it would be cutting things pretty close anywho.

Plus, I just got invited earlier this week to my buddy Gar’s 50th but I can’t find a sitter for the kid so late.

It’s nice having so many great people to potentially see for the holiday.

Still, I hope I’ll have a chance to spend Chinese New Year with my mom next year.

Every year that goes by, I worry that I’ll lose her and I’m not sure I can handle losing anyone else for quite a while.

Me: Mad? No mom, of course not. I just…it’s Chinese New Year is all. (sighing) I miss dad.
Her: (gently) Of course you do. We all do. We can do it next year.

Location: Earlier tonight, stubbing my dislocated toe at dinner and seeing stars
Mood: ruminative
Music: I dream of a place called home (Spotify)
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2 replies on “Driving into the Year of the Dragon”

There’s always next year AND there’s always next month AND Mother’s day in May. Hope you get to see your mom soon! As we get even much older, aging speeds up. Every day looks different like a newborn that grows up too fast.

Thanks, Sckim! And you’re right about Mother’s Day but there’s something about Chinese New Year for our family that doesn’t seem to be around anymore.

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