Family

How to Teach Your Child About a Disappearing World

My daughter understands object permanence—the idea that what vanishes continues to exist. As the planet warms, I worry I may have oversold the concept.

Jan 13, 2022
The Stink of Motherhood

After a few moments of fawning and cooing, I interjected from outside the circle with a shy raised hand: “Hi, I’m the mom.”

Jan 04, 2022
The Pain of Losing Your First Language

What else did I lose to assimilate?

Dec 21, 2021
I Turned to TikTok When Motherhood Felt Out of Reach

In the emergency room waiting for a potential diagnosis, I soothe myself with loops of pudgy toddlers tripping into the antics of babyhood over and over again.

Dec 09, 2021
Searching for My Parallel Life in Vietnam

What might have happened if we had stayed?

Nov 03, 2021
Skateboarding Gave Me a Way to Express My Grief

Yes, this system is imperfect. It took years—and the privilege of professional help—before I’d learn to articulate my grief in words.

Oct 21, 2021
Reaching for My Family—And My French Not-Husband

Comforting each other is more natural when we’re physically present, which is what the pandemic made it impossible for my not-husband to be.

Oct 20, 2021
I Refuse to Feel Guilt for My Guilty Pleasures

The invisible fence that divides highbrow and lowbrow is largely imposed by money, those we admire, and our own social conditioning.

Facing Crises—and Mosquitoes—at Home in Osaka

If you’re looking at something, you don’t know where it’s going; if you know where it’s going, you don’t know where it is.

Sep 28, 2021
After Sitting Shiva in the Pandemic, What Comes Next?

The grief of the pandemic era is ongoing. What happens if everyone is sitting shiva at once?

Sep 22, 2021
Traveling With My Parents Taught Me “Growing Up” Is Not “Growing Old”

My parents were old. It was time to take seriously the last years we had left. That is not, of course, how they saw things.

Sep 08, 2021
The Mango Missile Crisis

After her arrest, I started to understand. All the racist slights and foolish men my mother had endured. More reasons to be angry than I could count.

Inheriting My Mother’s Body

Twenty years after the not-cancer, my mother died of cancer. Maybe that’s why when they tell me it’s a fibroid I’m so afraid.

Aug 30, 2021
Beverly Cleary Taught Me How to Share My Divorce Story

I had tried to show the world that I was resilient, never fallible, but my unwillingness to deal with my sadness and anger was hurting me and my daughter.

Aug 25, 2021
Midcentury Modern

I find myself looking at the same memories with new eyes now that you’re gone.

Aug 03, 2021
My Mom’s Pandemic Piano Taught Me You Can Always “Find Yourself”

It was the first time I’d ever noticed growth or newness this way: reclaiming, or returning, rather than overhauling and chasing.

When the Squirrels Are Over

Squirrels are violent maters. I thought about that as metaphor, but I’ve already written that kind of essay, that story.

Dear Imo: A Letter from the Korean Diaspora

I made a promise, too, that I would bring her back to you.

Jun 23, 2021
We’re in Sasquatch Country Now

How the Bigfoot legend helped me reconcile unanswered questions about my adoption

Jun 03, 2021
My Father, the Slingshot Master

For my father, the slingshot seems to offer a moment of creative flight, a brief escape. It isn’t the solution, but it keeps everything balanced.

May 25, 2021