Before the pandemic, I went to school and afterwards, stayed at home-- just a boring life. My parents had to go to work while raising me and my brother in school. At the time, we didn’t see each other often even though we live in the same house. Then in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic happened. My parents limited their outside work and they stayed at home. I saw them, talked with them, and had meals with them.
One evening as the sun is going down, outside the nurses are still struggling with the pandemic, some citizens remain anti-mask, and a lot is still happening. Inside our small house, my parents are talking out loud and cooking together in the kitchen, and I smell the fragrance spreading to my room that makes me join them.
When I went to the kitchen, I saw my dad sitting on the table with my mom bringing out the Vietnamese food: rice, soup, fish and vegetables. They saw me, and my dad started to say, “I never thought I would have a daughter grow up like that.” He described me like I was strange and new after not having seen each other for so long, and for a while my mother remains silent. Then, she spoke up, “Suddenly having a girl like that, you don’t expect to one day have such a big kid.”
I think before the pandemic, my parents and I did not spend enough time together even though we lived in the same house. Once we were face-to-face, they were surprised when they saw how much I changed.
“Come eat with us,” my mom said.
As we ate, my mom continued and said to my dad, “Look, back then she always ran to you. How about right now? We look old honey.” I think they just turned 40. We had dinner and talked when I was younger, laughing at the jokes. I felt funny and warm. At that time, they just joked and were not serious—not what parents in movies say or share. I know they don’t want me to stress or worry. They see I am not a child and they want me to know and give advice.
Before the pandemic I always ate alone in my room when I was at home, but right now I see my parents more than before. Today as I am writing about that time, a lot of memories come up for me. I feel still warm and happy—the old and new memories are still in there and life goes on.