Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Define Me

To be unique is to be original, one-of-a-kind, special even.  From a biological perspective our mere existence as human beings makes us unique; each person a completely different genetic make up than the next.  So why is it that when Today's Parent asked bloggers to reflect on our uniqueness, the task has proven to be so difficult?

It's easy to rattle off facts, but I'm certain there are other people that can lay claim to these same statements:

When I'm not on maternity leave, I'm a working mother.
I am half Chinese and my children are a quarter Chinese.
I eat gluten-free.

It's the people I love, the stories I tell, the experiences I have, the decisions I make and the lessons I learn that define me, those are the things make me unique.

When I first returned to work, I didn't just complain about the struggle to find my work-life balance, I carefully reflected on my situation and shared my 5 Survival Tips for the Working Momma.  This is not to say that it was easy; in five short months I'll be back at work and both my precious boys will be in daycare, something I am simultaneously dreading and anticipating.

Insence Speaking of expectations, when I was pregnant with the boy and we were working on the impossible task of picking a name, it was essential to me that my family name be passed on.  Both of my boys have two middle names, the second of which is my maiden name.  It's important to me that my children don't lose sight of their heritage even if they don't understand the language.  I don't speak Chinese and I don't go to temple, but when I'm with my grandmother I know how I'm supposed to behave.  I light incense, I bow and everything is done with two hands.  It is my responsibility to ensure that as my boys age, they learn to embrace their Chinese side.  It's my heritage and I will work to ensure those boys feel that its theirs too.

One of my biggest struggles is how to expose the boys to Chinese cuisine given our multiple allergies; in addition to my gluten intolerance, the boy doesn't eat dairy or soy.  Chinese food without soy is a challenge, but when it comes to cooking, I rise to the challenge, I've found a version of fried rice the boy gobbles right up.  I love to cook and bake so I've embraced our restricted diet and jumped in with both feet.  I am slowly discovering and creating recipes for feel-good food like pizza and Beer Battered Fish & Chips.

What makes me unique is my personal collection of experience, beliefs and passion, just as those things make each and every one of us an original copy.

This post was written for the Today's Parent Call for Bloggers