Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pass It On

So I was thinking again and I was remembering. I was fairly young when I realized that I was very lucky. I lived in a middle class subdivision. I had both of my parents, my own room, a cat and all the basic necessities of life. When I went to school, I was exposed to children who came from all different types of families and all different kinds of situations – every once in awhile, I brought some of those children home with me. It was really natural for me. I figured that there was a problem and my mother would fix it. After all, she fixed most of my problems so why couldn’t she fix theirs too? (She tried pretty hard to accomodate me.)

One of my earliest memories was of a family that joined our church. They were Laotian and I was very interested in them because this was one of the few large groups of Asians that I had ever seen. We did not have a large minority population where I grew up.

Anyhow, they were new to our area and new to the country. They were getting settled and they still didn’t have very much, but they didn’t ask for anything. My mother and some of the other people at our church worked together to make sure that they had a nice Christmas. They bought clothes, toys and food. I sat on our living room floor with my mother and helped wrap presents that I had helped pick out – for children just my age. My mother carefully printed the tags with the families names on it that said, “From Santa.”

Here is what I remember the best because it shaped the way I thought about giving forever. Once everything was packaged and bows were tied, they put a simple Christmas card in the middle that simply read “pass it on.” They took everything to the home and they left it. It was simple. They didn’t need to know who left it, because they didn’t need to feel grateful. They didn’t have to pay anyone back for what was given. All they needed to know was that when they were up and on their feet, they should pass on the message to someone else.


Rose said...

Hi Mo,
In a sense your blog reflects this similar "Pass It On" message. I have enjoyed reflecting on your thoughts. I too am an adopted parent -- I have two adopted Korean kids and two biological multiracial kids. I think we'd all be happy and safer today if we "passed on good gifts" and wishes as your family did.

FYI, I am also a children's author with my first novel (ages 9-13) coming out next year. KIMCHI & CALAMARI (HarperCollins, April 1, 2007) is about a Korean adopted boy in an Italian family. I've tried hard to write it real, as they say, and show the various feelings of an adoptee, but I also use great humor. I have four kids. How could there not be humor? It is my hope that many adopted children, and all children for that manner, will enjoy and benefit from my coming of age novel.

Anonymous said...

I love this.