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I laughed when I tore off the September sheet from the calendar. My in-laws wrote “Mark’s birthday”—or rather “Mark 生日”—on the calendar above my desk. I mean, who do you think gave birth exactly? Do you really think I’d forget my son’s birthday? And why don’t I get a reminder for Feng’s birthday, the day before Mark’s?

This Thanksgiving Monday, Mark turned eight and wiser.

Mark asks me a lot of questions about us these days—where I lived when I was at university, why I came to Canada, when was the last time I failed at something and how I dealt with it, why I’m not shy when I chat with strangers, how I made friends, what I like best and what makes me happy.

He changed a lot this year. He is a pretty amazing kid—kind, polite, enthusiastic, funny, smart, as sarcastic as us but also empathetic. “Tough day, mom? Not too tired?” He understands a lot about the world, people, life. He expresses his feeling very well. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I clearly remember sleepless nights, tantrums and a many frustrating moments along the way.

I still have no idea what we did right or wrong but I love this kid. Yes, even when he hides the tablet because he heard me coming, when he talks back or when he cries after losing a poker game with Feng.

“Mommy, what’s the coolest thing you’ve ever made?”

“You.”

“No, you answer the question fir—… oh, I get it. Wow. Thank you.”

You’re welcome, Mark.

Helpful reminder from my in-laws, "Mark's birthday" written on my calendar
Helpful reminder from my in-laws, “Mark’s birthday” written on my calendar
Mark's birthday wish list
Mark’s birthday wish list
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020
Mark turning 8 on October 12, 2020

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