I checked my watch. It was a fourteen hour time difference between New York and Seoul, which meant it was about eight in the morning there while it was six in the evening the day before here.
I smiled at the picture of her and me on my desk. I must’ve been five or six there. One of the rare times she was able to take her only son to Rockefeller Center to see the tree and go ice skating afterwards.
I know now how much she’d struggled to afford that as a single mother alone in one of the toughest cities in the world. And for that and lots more, I spoil her ass every chance I get.
This month it’s South Korea and the next she’ll be on Safari in Kruger national park in South Africa. I usually try to meet up with her on her escapades when I can, but this is my busy season so her best friend, my Godmother is travelling with her this time around.
I called her even though the hour was early, because I knew once her eyes opened she’d be on the move and I might not have another free minute for the rest of the night.
“Mom how are you, you and Nell behaving yourselves?”
“Where’s the fun in that? Did you get the pictures I sent you?”
“Yes I did, you look like a true Korean Queen. Tony wants to know the name of that thing you’re wearing. I think he’s thinking of getting one for his mom.”
“The hanbok? He’s too late I already picked one up for her. That boy should know better than that.” It’s true, the two women had been close almost as long as their sons have. The only reason aunt Jess hadn’t joined her this time was because she had a new grandbaby to hog.
She gave me the whole history on the traditional Korean dress and how comfortable it was. And I listened like the obedient son that I am without interruption.
“How are you otherwise, is the guide working out?” I’m sure he was, but it never hurts to ask when dealing with my opinionated mother.
“Yes son, don’t worry. He’s just perfect, knows all the best places to visit and the food is just beyond. You have got to come here at least once, you won’t regret it.”
“Maybe next year we’ll go together.” How great is it that we’re having this conversation? Who would
ever have thought that we’d see days like this. Days where I could send my mother on an all expense paid trip around the world with money to spare.
The only pleasure I get these days is in the joy in her voice during one of these conversations. When I think of all she’d gone through to get me here, it makes me want to be a better man. Something she’d striven hard to achieve.
“Hopefully by then I’d have a daughter in law. If you really want to make me happy, how about getting me my first grandchild instead.”