Growing Flowers with Jichaan

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What I’ve done this week:

Listened to the movie ‘Inside Out’ 1,247 times.

Listened to Ojichaan tell me how to prune my roses so the ‘air’ can get through and they’re less prone to disease. 
Listen to Ojichaan tell me where and how to plant my grape vines so they get the max sun.  

Listen to Ojichaan tell me why I need to transplant my plants so he can have an easier path through my garden.  

Listen to Ojichaan tell me how to water properly so the water ‘gets deeper’.

Listen to myself chant my new mantra:  “He’s good for the kids, he’s good for the kids, he’s good for the kids, he’s good for the kids, he’s good for the kids…

Because there is only one proper way to do EVERYTHING.  And you must listen carefully.  Until Benji falls in the mud/loses his boot and is walking around/picking up dog poop/sticking the hose down his pants/pulling up my tomato plants/stepping on my pumpkin plants/pulling the fertilizer off the shelf and trying to play with the TOXIC CHEMICAL.  Cue me, pulling out all my hair.

Anyway.  This morning Bill got to listen to him for about 45 minutes.

Here’s the lowdown: 

Apparently Jichaan thinks I should go to work and hire a Japanese nanny to take care of the kids.  (Works for me).  Also, that we should move into Houston so he can walk to stores.  (Buy him a condo!)  And so the kids can make some friends with Japanese families.  (Good idea).

Anyway and the kicker – he also wants Bill to quit his job, move to Taiwan with us and open a pizza restaurant.

Yeah.  I’ll just let that one sink in for a minute.

He wants Bill to quit his job where he’s been working at the same company since University, over twenty years, move his entire family to Taiwan and start a restaurant.  Selling pizza.

I said to Bill… “Let’s go!”.  The only answer to absurdity is absurdity.

But that’s ok because now Jichaan wants to move to Taiwan HIMSELF.  

I mean…we don’t even need to get into the craziness of that idea.  

In all the angst and stress involved in getting him here and settled it never once occurred to me he’d rather live alone.  

Of all the terrible things I was imagining that could happen:

“He’s going to fall/get hurt/get sick/die on my watch while I have the kids.  He’s going to plug the toilet/pee on the furniture/leave the gas stove on/cook weird things that smell bad/need a bum wipe/help getting off the toilet/out of the shower and I have to see old naked man.  (I’m sorry, it freaks me out ok!).

It never once occurred to me I’d have to deal with him NOT wanting to be here.  

Being here in case he needs me when he’s grateful and happy to be here is one thing.  Being here in case he needs me when he’s resentful and bitter about being here?  Not even on my radar.

If it were my dad I’d lay out the options.  A government-run home, or here.  Two options.  Get happy about one.  (I love you dad, you stay with me!)

So, anyway.  I’m trying not to numb my bad feelings with sugar and good red wine.  I’m trying to lean into these feelings and just feel them.  Listen to sad songs and ask for extra hugs from whoever is giving them.  (Asking for hugs from the nice cashier-lady at HEB is cool right?)  That’s normal.  Eh.  I haven’t seen a moment of ‘normal’ since my 12th birthday.  Why start again now right?

“Normality is a paved road:  It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow.”  Vincent van Gogh

Published by @thatpluckygirl

East coast Canadian native Angela Yeh received her bachelor's degree in psychology and literature from Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, Canada. She is a poet at heart, a novelist in her knees, and chocolate everywhere else. She is a staunch advocate for writers and literacy/learning with her online writing community, coaching, motivating, and encouraging writers at She writes a regular column, Poetry Rocks! also at She lives with her husband, two lovely human children, and two cranky fur babies near Houston, Texas. You can check her out on Insta - @thatpluckygirl or Twitter with @thatpluckygirl.

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