A Rough Morning

Đán woke me up at four in the morning because he wanted some ice-cold water. I went downstairs to get him ice water and he already went back to sleep when I came back. I, on the other hand, had trouble getting back to my sleep.

I woke up around seven o’clock with a sleep deprivation. After breakfast, we headed out to school. We were already a few minutes late and I could not find a temporary spot to drop the kids off. The only spot available was a space that didn’t fit my entire minivan. I ended up blocking a bit of someone’s driveway. No big deal. I just needed to walk Đạo and Đán across the street to their school and I would be out of the way.

Just as I got out of the car, someone honking and yelling, “It’s my driveway.” I told Đạo and Đán to wait for me at the corner while I moved me car. As I pulled out of his driveway, the guy turned back. We both rolled down our windows. While I said to him, “I am so sorry,” he yelled back at me, “You’re a fucking asshole.” I also turned back to check on the boys and to find a space close by because Xuân was also in the car, but still no spot available. Fortunately, a mother who walked her kids to school saw what happened stood next to Đạo and Đán to keep an eye on them. She told me she could walk them across the street for me. I thanked her and told the boys I love them.

As I drove off, I wondered why people are so mad these days. Did he have to curse at me for such a small inconvenience? I didn’t care that he called me “a fucking asshole,” but I was upset that he used that language as the kids were walking to school and my three-year-old son was in the back seat.

As I needed to calm myself down, Xuân started to complain that he was hungry and that he wanted chocolate coin. I told him that I did not have any chocolate coin with me and that mommy will get some later. He was not giving up. His demand escalated and I was about to lose it, but I stayed calm and explained to him that daddy is a bit upset right now so please be good. To my amazement, he listened and switched the subject. He asked me, “Daddy, why did the worm die on the sidewalk?” I explained to him, “He must had left the soil to the concrete. The heat was so hot and he did not get any water; therefore, he got dehydrated and died.” He replied, “Daddy, I want to buy him some milk, feed him some phở, and give him some Gatorade.” It was such an expected response.

In contrast to the angry white man, Xuân’s kindness put a smile on my face and relieved my tension. That was what I needed to get through my day. We walked to his class together and I escorted him to the playground with his teachers and classmates. He was a bit sad when I left, but he knew daddy had to go to work.