Watching Cu Dao sleeping last night made me think of my father and our relationship. Once in a while the little guy would open his eyes halfway, stare at me to make sure I was still there, crack a half smile and then close his eyes again. Just the joy of seeing that is indescribable. I thought to myself: there is nothing in this world that could keep me away from him. Then I thought of my father who was hardly around me when I was a kid.

There’s a saying that you give your children what you never had. If that’s the case, the first thing I will give Cu Dao is a fatherhood. Even when I lived in Viet Nam, I never felt what it was like having a father. He would go to work (mostly charity) for a few weeks or months and only stay home for a day or two.

When I left Viet Nam, our relationship was disconnected as well. Growing without a father was hard. I didn’t know who to turn to when I was bullied at school. No man around the house to teach me how to become a man. Mentally I was weak. I lacked the confidence in myself; therefore, I could never make a decision on my own. Sometimes I wish I could be strong like him. I wish I could do whatever I please and fuck everyone else. I envy him and despise him for that. He made his decision to go back to Viet Nam to live his life even though his wife and kid needed him here the most.

I am now walking in his shoes and I could never see myself doing the same thing that he did. I will be there for my son. I want him to have the confidence I never had. I want him to not only make his own decisions, but live and be responsible for them. I would like him to take risks and to follow his heart. I will be satisfied as a father if I could accomplish these goals.