My View of the World Around Me

My own short stories. Some are real and some are fiction.

I love you vs. 我爱你

(2021-07-24 20:05:10) 下一个

One summer my son stayed in China longer than I did. We talked often, and he usually ended our conversation with “I love you mom!” One day he ended it with “我爱你,妈!” I was so thrilled and screaming “wow …” He was puzzled, asked “Mom, what happened?” I said, “You just said I love you in Chinese!"“Yes, is I love you in Chinese different? “he asked. “Yes, I feel it is so special!”I replied. “Why?” he was really intrigued. I said “Because Chinese usually don't say I love you, and almost never say I love you to their parents.”“Really? You never say I love you to grandma?” Nobody had asked me this question before, I paused, then said “No, I don't think I ever did."“Wow, you should call grandma and tell her you love her.” he was so surprised. Next time when I called my mom, I took a deep breath, said “我爱你,妈!” I felt weird, and my voice is a little louder than usual, I guess I was nervous and maybe subconsciously trying to make up the loses that my whole life to that point that I had never said I love you to my mom.  I don’t remember what she said but I remember there was a silence. I can imagine that was so foreign to her to hear those words first time from her daughter, and she didn’t have words to it. But I knew she must feel good and sweet. 

After that first time, I said “我爱你,妈” every time I called her. My son doesn't say “I love you mom.” anymore, and he always says “我爱你,妈.” This got me realize I got a culturally sensitive son who knew these three words weight lot more in his mom’s native language.

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