As a child, one of my favorite books that my mother would read to me was “The Runaway Bunny,” by Margaret Wise Brown. It begins:
Once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away.
So he said to his mother, “I am running away.”
“If you run away,” said his mother, “I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.”
Growing up, one of the ways my mother instilled certain values in me, and “blew me where she wanted me to go,” was to try to gift us experiences rather than “things.” After a certain age, we were allowed to pick a city [in the United States] and travel there for an extended weekend with our mother. This fostered an interest in travel in me, and also established quality time with our mother as something of value.
As I became older, the wanderlust deepened, and I was able to set off on longer and farther adventures. I was able to choose an international location and plan a trip there, accompanied by my mother, for my high school and college graduation gifts. For high school, I chose Japan. For college, I chose Indonesia. I chose a double major in college, focusing on International Healthcare and East Asian Language and Cultures….during which I returned to Japan to study for a year. Following my college graduation, I was accepted to the Peace Corps, for which I completed my two-year service in Cambodia. Currently, I’m completing another two-year contract, teaching English in South Korea.
Throughout these long stints in Asia, my mother has run after me, like the mother in “The Runaway Bunny,” to share in my experiences and development. She’s managed to visit me and travel with me in almost every country I’ve been to (even Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore during vacations).
As a close mother and daughter, in terms of personality and relationship, I think our interests and lifestyles have a strong influence on each other. My mother got me into electronic and industrial music, and I got her into indie folk and dance. She’s instilled values of healthfulness in me, and I’ve influenced her to maintain a mainly vegetarian diet. We read similar books, eat similar food, and sometimes have similar styles.
For Christmas this year, one of the things my mother asked for–keeping with the tradition of gifting experiences rather than things–was a mother-daughter blog as a way of sharing experiences, ideas, and interests together. So here I am, setting it up. We’ll be sharing our interests and expertises, current lifestyles and experiences, photos and music, here. And responding to each other’s questions and posts. Mother-daughter interaction at its best and most public.
Merry Christmas, Mom!
~the little bunny