Sunday, June 10, 2012

Teaching My Children to Appreciate

Summer break had just started and my children are home from schools.  Today I watched them gone shopping and come home with some new summer clothes. How wonderful for them to have such privilege.  I hope they appreciate the opportunity to have it. It reminded me of my first year here in the United States.

At fourteen, I came here with nothing brought from Viet Nam for we rushed out of the country on the very day South Viet Nam falls into the hands of Communist North Viet Nam. We left everything behind, our beloved relatives, our home and everything my parents had worked so hard all their life.  I learned the first lesson of how expensive freedom is. We started our lives here with the help from our sponsor. We spoke very little English and felt very lost. We have experienced many difficulties but I wanted to write about my first humuliation and lesson in value.

Since we have lost everything and we first need food and clothing.  Our sponsor brought us donated clothes from the people in the community.  I have picked out a few clothes that would fit me and wore them that fall to go to school.  I accidently heard one of the young girl in the school told her friends while pointing at me and saying that the clothes I had on are from her and her friends in the community.

Just like with many other difficulties we had encountered, I learned to swallowed any pride I had at fourteen; eventhough,  I was so sad inside my young heart, I felt like crying but I held my head high and told myself that that young girl didn't mean any harm and for me to have better life again, I would have to try harder, my first thing to do is to learn English if I want to succeed in this country.

Many years later, I told  my children this experience in hoping they will learn to appreciate life better.  The year my first child was in her eighth grade, my husband and I had joined this church in helping the new refugees who just came from Viet Nam, our daughter had a clothing drives from school and donated them  to the church that we were helping, she told us she did this from hearing my story over and over for so many years and she wanted to let us know that she was listening and she also  learned how to value and appreciate life.