i guess so maybe i don’t know

“I guess so. Maybe. I don’t know.” He sings this line when he does an impression of me and I hear it for days like a jingle from a TV ad.

I tell people I have no opinions. I’m not cultured and make no effort to be. I don’t read enough books, listen to enough music or podcasts, or watch enough documentaries to have an opinion about anything.

Lots of people tell me I must love Wes Anderson films. But I hate Wes Anderson films. I hate their cardboard characters and find the symmetry of the images obnoxious.

Lots of people tell me they bet I keep house plants and subscribe to Kinfolk magazine. Plants die when I think about them and I’m too cheap to pay for printed matter or hang out in coffee shops.

And lots of people tell me The Unbearable Lightness of Being must be one of my favorite books. You know, I racked up a $20 library fine trying to get through the first 30 pages before I gave up, shoved it through the book-return slot, and dusted off my hands.

No wonder I have no opinions. Everyone else has them for me!

But let me tell you this. I may not know what I like, but I know what I don’t like. I don’t like junk boats. I don’t like having my hair pulled. And I really don’t like it when people tell me what I think.

Like, if you want to know my thoughts, why don’t you just ask me?

I guess so. Maybe. I don’t know.

on mouths (or: how to show me you love me)

Where is the difference? When we truly love
It’s easy to do one when we mean the other.

— Kleist’s Penthesilea

When you say, “I love you,” the words tumble out of your mouth like chewing gum. “I love you.” What does that even mean? Like the mechanical regurgitation of an automaton. Shut up! Don’t tell me. I want you to SHOW me! ShowmeshowmeSHOW me, don’t tell me, because if you can sum up the way you feel about me in eight letters and three words—hell, if you can sum up the way you feel about me at ALL, then maybe it isn’t enough. Because I want you to feel so strongly about me that it steals the words out of you. Sucks them right out of your consciousness. I want it to make you speechless, so you couldn’t even dare to dare to put it into words, or even contort your mouth into the shapes of vowels. I want it to make you want to burst. And I really, really want you to show me.

Smile so sincerely that I can see the creases around your mouth and predict where time will carve wrinkles into your face, even if we’ll be strangers to each other then. Smile even if you think you look goofy, and damn it, stop feeling so self-conscious. Smile so that there are crow’s feet at your temples and your eyes become half-moons. Let me memorize the gaps between your teeth, the colour of your enamel, the subtleness of your overbite, and let me run my thumb along your bottom lip, it looks so soft, so smooth, like a pink marshmallow. Smile so that the only thing that feels right is for me to smile too, like I can’t help it. Smile so that I can feel your warm breath on my cheek, so that it sets my cheek on fire. Smile so that all I want to do is kiss you and I can’t help it.

So kiss me, please. Please, kiss me! I mean, kissing sometimes feels really weird when you think about it. I mean, what drives people to put their lips together in the first place? The mouth is actually really weird! I mean, think about it: it’s the same mouth as the mouth you suckled at your mom’s boob with, the mouth you drool out of in your sleep sometimes, the mouth you shovel cereal into every morning, the mouth you puked out of when you had too many shots that night, the mouth you suck on your cigarette with, the mouth you spit onto the pavement with like a trucker. I mean, yuck! Who knows what’s been in your mouth, or out of it, or what your mouth has been in contact with, in all of your history? But you know what? I DON’T CARE! Kiss me anyway. I’ll take all of you—the milk, drool, crumbs, vomit, tar and nicotine, even the phlegm! And you’ll have all of me, and my spit. A fair exchange! Show me how much you feel for me. Close the space between our faces, pour yourself into me and I’ll pour myself into you. Just don’t inhale too hard. Because once I had this boyfriend who really liked the Foo Fighters. He liked them so much that he decided he’d test out one of their lines on me. “Breathe out so I can breathe you in,” he instructed. Then he took my face in his hands, closed his mouth over mine, and sucked the life force out of me. It was repulsive. I felt like he was vacuuming my soul out of my ribcage, so I dumped him after two weeks. Anyway, I want you to kiss me! Kiss me like you mean it, not to rip off some stupid song lyric! Kiss me as if it’s the last time we’ll ever see each other, like tomorrow the earth will fracture into two, and where we’re standing is where the fissure will begin, so you’ll be on one half of the earth and I’ll be on the other, and we’ll be hurtling towards opposite ends of the universe. Kiss me like you believe this is going to happen, even if it never will, because gravity’s holding the world together. And gravity’s keeping you from bursting.

But let’s be honest. There is only so much that kissing can convey. Because there is that point when kissing just isn’t enough anymore, when we need to go BEYOND. That’s why we stopped smiling and joined mouths, right? We wanted more! We still want more! Because smiling leads to kissing leads to heavy breathing leads to heavy petting leads to shedding clothing leads to, leads to… leads to… sex? It’s a slippery slope! Saying “I love you” doesn’t cut it. Smiling doesn’t suffice, either, so kissing takes its place… but if kissing isn’t enough, is sex the ultimate way of showing how you feel for me? No! It can’t be! It would imprison us in this horrible mortal way of being, mechanical like “I love you,” only more physically demanding. I don’t want that, because what I really want is for you to burst, because you can’t contain how you feel for me, because your body can’t encase the infinite!

So I invite you to take a bite of the flesh above my collarbone. Go ahead. Please. This is the only way. There is no other way for you to truly express how you feel for me. And if you like my flavour—which I KNOW you do, I mean, you can’t not, because the way you’ve kissed me in the past, it was like you were completely ravenous—then work your way down the rest of my body, and don’t let ANY part of me go to waste. I need to be inside you! ALL of me! Not just the flesh parts! Put my bones in a blender, and my skull, oh, and my organs too, because I realize my heart and brain and the rest of my insides might make you a little queasy, so it might be easier to just drink it all in a stew. I mean, we don’t really eat the hearts and brains of other creatures, of cows and chickens… well, maybe they do in China, but we’re not IN China. We’re HERE! So put the rest of me in a blender, plug your nose if you must, and drink me up. Resist your gag reflex! I know it might be hard for you, but we have to do this! We have to!

Eat me whole! Finish me! Hurry! I want to be under your skin! I want to course through your veins, to conquer every cubic inch of your heart! I want to experience everything with you, and I mean EVERYTHING. I want to feel it when you get your finger caught in the door. I want to know everything you know, to know the ridges of your brain, to know exactly how you’re reading that story for class, what you think of the queen who cannibalized her lover. I want to taste everything you are eating, even if it means tasting cheese, which I absolutely hate, but I won’t now that tasting it confirms that I am a part of you. I want to know your dreams, to see just how similar they are to mine. And if our dreams aren’t similar, well, then I’ll manipulate them so that they are! I want to understand every facet of your identity, to remember every detail of every memory you have, like the time your uncle taught you how to ride a bike, and how proud you felt pedalling down the street. I want to know so much! But most of all, I want to know how strongly feel for me. I want to know what it feels like to almost burst.

So eat me. It’s the only way I’ll be able to gauge anything. It is the closest two people can get to each other. Eat me, and leave “I love you” for amateurs.

sometimes i’m scared i have nothing to say

Sometimes I’m scared I have nothing to say. This fear makes me want to hide in a hole in the ground and stare at my feet. Well, the other day, when I was staring at my feet, I saw my big toe poking out of my sock.


I stitched up the hole like a bad scar on a cartoon pirate. I gathered all my other socks with holes in them and put them through the sewing machine. Then I found an old sketchbook and began to draw.

I made a stack of postcards and sent them far away from here, one to Japan, one all the way to Whitehorse, another to my own mailbox.

I sent a postcard to my childhood best friend. When I was ten years old and my family moved from Hong Kong to Toronto, my best friend and I wrote each other every week. I found a shoebox full of her letters the other day. She’d write about her friends, the music she loved, her desire to run for student council. She’d experiment with printing address labels off the computer and teaching herself to play the guitar. She had a baby a few months ago, and this makes me smile. Her baby is lucky to have such a generous and creative mother, just as I’m lucky I had such a generous and creative friend when I needed someone to talk to twenty years ago.

I sent a postcard to a friend in Toronto. In the winter we used to wait by the window in chemistry class hoping for a good snowfall. If the snow was very good, we would take the cross-country skis from the Phys. Ed. equipment room and race down the Beltline Trail, teenaged snow-nerd maniacs ripping through the city after school. When my friend received her postcard, she emailed to tell me about her life now. She’s doing her residency, and she’s figuring out a way to make the most of her talents and knowledge to help other people. I’m not sure she knows, but she’s always inspired me to think about how I can be more helpful, too. I’m still working on this.

I sent a postcard to a friend who left Hong Kong when her father died at the end of last year. She is one of the strongest people I know. It’s a good thing I didn’t Google her before I met her because then I might have been too intimidated to talk to her. She puts her head down and gets stuff done, especially when things get tough. She writes her way through the world and takes no bullshit. She reminds me to cut the bad noise out of my life to make room for other voices to sing. Maybe I’d be happier if I listened to her harder.

I don’t remember what I wrote to each of my friends. But I remember how once upon a time we occupied the same time and space and shared our stories and secrets and dreams with each other. Isn’t that something?

I sent these postcards to my friends to say: “Hey. I’m alive. I wonder how you are doing.” I guess that’s what I’ll always have to say, and that’s more than enough.

practical advice for getting along with your parents (as an adult)

Are you a grown-up who wants to get along better with your parents? Here’s some practical advice I scraped together for myself. Maybe it will help you, too.

1. Help your dad with his computer

When your dad calls you at work for computer help, drop everything and help him, even if you have to step out of the office for half an hour. Never take for granted that he knows what “track changes” is, or that he can find the settings menu on his own. Remember how patient he was when he taught you how to fire a BB gun? Be like that. Speak slowly and clearly and never raise your voice.

2. Don’t complain about their habits

Remember that you’re a guest in their home. If you don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke, too bad. Keep your mouth shut and live with it. Once you accept that your mom has been a smoker for last three decades—that this is who she is, so why should she apologize for it?—then your relationship will be a million times better.

You always say you want the recipe, but when I cook, you’re never in the kitchen.

3. Hang out with your mom when she’s cooking

Listen when your mom says, You always say you want the recipe, but when I cook, you’re never in the kitchen. Go to the kitchen. Offer to help even though she’ll say no because she’s particular about julienning the potatoes into tiny uniform strips. Set the table and scoop out the rice before she asks. Even though she won’t talk to you much, she’s happy you’re in the kitchen witnessing her in her element.

4. Put your phone away

Don’t look at your phone at the dinner table. But before you put your phone away, make sure you take lots of pictures of the food your mom has just spent hours preparing. Send these photos to the family group chat for your dad and sisters to fuss over.

5. Listen to your mom

Listen hard to everything your mom says, even if you think her ideas are insane. When she tells you to consult a professional dating service to find a husband, don’t laugh in her face. Instead, do some research and be thankful that you didn’t go to Stanford, you know how to cook, and you’re not bad-looking. Otherwise, you will die alone. Because everyone knows men don’t want wives who are smarter than they are. They want wives who are lovely to look at, wives who can cook and clean and take care of the children.

6. Keep all chaos out of sight

If you insist on being messy, then keep your mess out of sight. Keep your bedroom door closed. And never leave stuff lying around the living room or your dad will take it and store it somewhere and you will never, ever see it again.

7. Let stuff go, even if your mom won’t

Try not to be angry or sad when your mom brings up things from the past, like the time you made her life a living hell 25 years ago, or the time she washed your mouth out with soap because you talked back to her. Be confident in knowing that you’ve evolved since then.

8. Hang out with them as much as you can

Make time to hang out with your parents, even if you’re just sitting in the same room doing nothing together. The nearness is enough.

9. Show them tons of affection

If your dad is generous with his affection, let him squeeze you in his arms and kiss your head as much as he wants. If your mom is cold and unaffectionate, then give her lots of kisses on the cheek until she laughs and pushes you away. The more over the top you can be here, the better.

When you are 80 and I am 100, you will still be my child.

10. Remember that you’ll always be their baby

Even though you’re a grown-up now, your parents will always treat you like their baby. Because that’s what you are to them. Forever. Hold your dad’s hand at the mall, because it reminds him of when your hand was much smaller, and also because he gets a kick out of pretending you’re his gold-digging girlfriend. And let your mom put curlers in your hair and makeup on your face because it reminds her of when she could dress you up like a dolly.

And believe your mom when she tells you, When you are 80 and I am 100, you’ll still be my child.

how to be a good daughter

Sometimes when my mother wants to be cruel she tells us we burst from a stone. I love when she says this because it’s true. Inside the crystal, my sister and I curled up like yin-yang fetuses and held in our giggles as we got ready to explode in a spectacle of shards to turn my mother’s life upside down and inside out.

Is that what she means when she says we burst from a stone? We’re not of her, not of anybody, not human?

When we were small we’d watch her battle my grandmother at Dr. Mario on the Nintendo. In college whenever she called I’d put the telephone on the table and let her talk to herself, on and on with her opinions and ideas about how I should live my life.

Now that I want to know what she thinks, she’s stingier with her thoughts. Instead, she doles out one-liners like this one, about finding a womanizing rich man to marry: “If he can’t keep his pants on, you can sue his pants off.” Or this one, about fast fashion: “Typical men, exploiting women and children.” (I thought she was talking about labour exploitation but she was really talking about selling clothing to women and children).

Beneath the cruel and bizarre things she says is a vow to protect us, her daughters who burst from a stone like spiders erupting from a boil. Her boil. She wants to save us from bad decisions and bad men with slippers raised high to smack us dead. She sees things blowing up in our faces years before they happen, like young mothers who warn their children not to run so fast or they’ll trip and crack their heads open. But kids need to trip over their own feet to understand how to run. And I need to trip over my own feet (all eight of them, you know, because I’m a spider here) to understand how to keep going.

This weekend my mother asked me to watch a Hong Kong crime thriller with her so I could practice my Cantonese. I paused the film after each line and asked her to break each sentence down into its components because I wanted to annoy her. After five minutes of that, I shut my mouth and watched the movie.

I mean, I gotta cut her some slack, right? It must be hard to be her, because she knows all the mistakes my sisters and I are going to make—and that there’s nothing she can do to protect us.

i’m rich!

Guess what! I found some coins in my couch, a $20 bill in my jeans, and half a stick of Mentos in my backpack.

I’m rich!

The other night we danced for an hour with the lights out in a gymnasium full of strangers. I could hear the two of you shrieking as we flailed our limbs in the freedom of the dark. Three years ago we were strangers, too, but now you’re my sisters. I have lots of sisters scattered all over the world.

Downstairs a man in flip-flops feeds the cats. Most of the cats are shy, but there’s this one noisy one who loves attention. One night a cat almost followed me home. It let me pat its belly and chased me up the stairs before disappearing forever. Maybe it followed someone else home and sleeps in a real bed instead of on the street.

On my birthday the corgi from the shop around the corner crawled into my lap. I let him lick my arm even though his saliva is sticky. The other day I saw an old man playing with him. The old man was smiling so hard he put a lump in my throat. I wanted to put my arms around him but I put my arms around the dog instead.

Two weeks ago my friend read my tarot cards. She’s generous with magic. I want to learn magic, too.

My neighbor with the ponytail always says hi to me and asks me about the guy upstairs, but he never asks about me. Probably I give off vibes of okayness so he knows he doesn’t need to ask.

Yesterday I hung out with my mom. Every five minutes she had something cruel to say: “your top is ugly,” “your skirt makes your legs look chunky,” “your hair makes you look old.” I asked her to just tell me everything she was angry about in one go, then we ran our errands and got foot massages. I tried not to think about the bruise. When I got home, she sent me a text message: “Thank you for being so sweet.”

Tonight I ate a mango over the kitchen sink and let the juice drip down to my elbows.

You know, if you search the corners of your apartment and flip all your notebooks inside out, you’ll probably find that you are RICH.

i changed my underwear this morning

My mother says people don’t change, but I changed my underwear this morning. Two decades ago she changed from Dunhills to Benson & Hedges, the kind you can buy in bulk from a woman inside a cage in some secret corner of Costco.

Three years ago I changed my mind and got on a plane.

No more random shitty jobs to make ends meet. No more typing up dialogue from episodes of Pokemon for fifteen dollars an hour, even though I should have asked for twice as much pay because I type twice as fast as everyone else, but I never knew to ask. No more waking up at 4:00 a.m. in the dead of winter to pedal to the film set and put contact lenses into hundreds of eyes for a living. No more days with no work to do, no knitting on the porch with the neighbor’s orange cat, no chasing my shadow at sunset racing home on my bicycle, no hunting around the supermarket aisles for half-priced meat, fruit on the verge of rotting, deals on toilet paper. No more holding my computer together with duct tape. No more restricting phone calls home to once a month, afraid to hear the fear in her voice, fear that I will amount to nothing, so what will she tell her friends and siblings? No more making promises I can’t keep. No more living in squalor with boyfriends.

Now the boyfriends are strangers and the squalor is my own. My squalor. My home. My career. My life. I figured it out. I CHANGED! Three years ago I changed my mind and got on a plane to try something else. My life before was enough. My life now is enough. It’s always enough.

Did I change?

When will you change your mind and see that it’s always enough and we’re lucky we have each other?

for my twin sister

28 February 2008

Sometimes when it is dark and our heads are on our pillows a tear comes out of my eye and then another and another but I am so good I keep my breath steady and when you say are you crying? I hold my voice still and say no of course not. I am lucky that you hear me and I am lucky that you put your arm around me instead of pretending not to notice, like some rotten people I have heard of who pretend to be asleep —some are so rotten they make snoring sounds, roll onto their sides and pull the blanket away.

The other day when I phoned Vanessa’s house in Toronto to see if she was OK Penny picked up the phone and told me that V was in Dublin and when I heard Penny’s voice my eye felt warm and slow tears streamed out and I choked but Penny doesn’t know my crying voice so she had no idea and she told me I should learn Chinese to become marketable because that is what mums want for their girls, to be pretty and marketable and successful so that they will never have to be at the mercy of people like our dads.

How come when I think of sad things I feel sad, and when I think of happy things I feel even sadder? And how come the happier things are harder to think up? But I am sure we laughed so much. I remember your laughing face much more than your crying face, and just now it occurred to me that in one week it will be our birthday, and I felt a warm tear swell behind my nose but then it went away by itself when I wrote this down. In the post I am sending you a birthday surprise with a card I traced from a picture of when we were swans in the school play and you were so graceful and I felt so clumsy and I can’t get my limbs to move like yours do even though we look the same and I hope you like it!

How come when I think of our childhood I first remember wishing I could be like you instead of remembering that we laughed so much! Like when Daddy became that scary twitching mole-monster on the floor and when we made Playdoh food and when Jumbo ate my blue crayon and his poo was blue and I stepped in it and when we were at Tai-Lau’s funeral and we were trying not to cry so we laughed instead. We laughed so much but sometimes all I remember is being in your shadow because you were so clever and artistic and funny and cute and adventurous and likeable and you ran so fast and all the boys liked you and Daddy called you Favie.

How come you love me even though I told you that you are ugliest when you smile? I remember when it happened a fat tear rolled down your cheek but your gum smile was still there. And now your smile is pretty for the camera, chin tilted up, lip pulled over your gum—oh, but when we see something that makes us laugh and convulse and hiccup, your goofy smile is back, all gum and squinty moon eyes and bunny teeth, but definitely not ugly!

Sometimes when I am sad I hide in the corner of the room and scratch mean things about Mummy into the wall, like “I HATE HER” and “I HATE HER SO MUCH” and stuff like that with sharp things I find in the drawer, like a scissor blade or a bobby pin or a key. But I don’t keep track of what I write or when I write it so when I saw the other day in black ink the words “I never meant it” with a full stop I couldn’t remember if I had written it or not or if you maybe decided to contribute to my wall but either way I scratched it out and wrote “I WILL NEVER TAKE IT BACK.” Because I won’t. I won’t take back the mean things I said and I won’t make you take back the mean things you did because it’s not fair to be choosy.

You always try to take things back and it always makes me mad. Why did you cut a hole in your blanket after you cut a hole in my blanket? If you’re going to hurt me, then mean it. Stop taking it back, and don’t make me take back the things I said, because you KNOW I meant it when I said you are ugliest when you smile, but I don’t mean it NOW because that was six years ago when you were making me really mad. And I KNOW you meant it when you picked up yours scissors and snipped deliciously at the stitches of my beloved, even though you didn’t mean it ten minutes later when you punished your own blanket, and even though we can’t remember why we were fighting to begin with.

Besides, if we take back all of that bad stuff, why should we be allowed to keep the rest? Moments of thoughtfulness, when you solicited the help of your kindergarten class to draw an eye over my eye-patch so I wouldn’t look like some crazy lazy-eyed Cyclops, and when you wouldn’t eat cheese in front of me because it reminds me of throw-up. And moments of reassurance, when we’d sleep in your bed holding hands because we were so scared of UFOs, and when you agree with me that our younger sister is a self-righteous poohead and Mummy is like an overgrown child. And moments of collaborative delight: when, after smearing poo all over the stuffed caterpillars in our cribs, we giggled at our masterpieces; when we made that slideshow for French class that featured a silly cut-out of a girl’s head on a swallow and Madame Seguin loved it so much even though we couldn’t stop laughing inside our head; and when we made that giant, ugly papier-mâché sculpture that they featured at the entrance of the art studio even though we thought it was so ugly!

No, let’s keep everything! Because while what we say might be true in the very instant we say it, the degree of its trueness wears off after a while, but this doesn’t mean our feelings are false. I think it only means that the way I feel about you is never fixed. Maybe this is how come you love me even though I am sometimes cruel to you. We’re always drawing things from our life and mashing them together to make up different ways of understanding each other. Maybe this is how come Mummy still loves us even though she had to hire some workman to sand the scratches from the wall so that her parents wouldn’t see that her daughters hate her sometimes, and how come she still loves Daddy even though he forgot about their anniversary last year, and how come he still loves her even though she spends all of his money on wine and cigarettes! Maybe this is how come you still love Mark even though he did some things that weren’t so nice to you when you were in Prague.

And maybe this is how come we find ourselves crying in our pillows at night because we think we want to be alone to dwell on our vanishing past but secretly, very secretly, we yearn for a warm hand to blot the warm salty water from our cheeks right NOW.

for my twin sister on our 30th birthday

Read the first “for my twin sister“ (written in 2008) and Jessica’s response to this letter.

March 6, 2016

Remember that time we got in a fight and you threw me across the room? I tell this story a lot. We were eight, it was around Chinese New Year, and I was disappointed when the doctor told me to wear a scarf instead of outfitting me with a neck brace. I’d wanted strangers to see me and think, “Oh, poor child. What monster did this to you?”

I still wonder how you summoned the force to hurl me across the room that day. Who knew you had it in you? I certainly didn’t, and I don’t think you did, either. It’s like when mothers lift trucks high above their heads to save their babies, filled with superhuman strength reserved for gods and monsters. The stakes were high. You needed me to stop pushing you around and so you threw me across the room.

What else do I remember?

The other day I spilled some water on the floor and wondered if it was seeping into the apartment below. Was someone downstairs catching the drips in a pot plucked from a kitchen cupboard? Do you remember that time we tried to clean your bedroom floor? We dumped a bucket of water over the entire surface and took turns pushing the water around with a mop, so pleased with ourselves for being so helpful. This is a memory I’ve never shared with anybody before. The smell of soggy wood and you and me beaming as we danced around the puddles in our bare feet, thrilled to pull our weight in a house where we never had a single chore other than making our beds in the morning. Nobody was impressed with our initiative except for you and me. Angels.

It’s difficult to dig up memories I’ve never talked about before. I can’t know if they exist. It’s like when you have a dream and you don’t write it down first thing when you wake up. Hours later you have this feeling that something has moved you but you don’t know what it was. Ghosts.

Every time I tell a story I can feel it leaving my body like air leaking out of a balloon. Maybe telling a story is the same as giving birth to a baby: as long as you have one inside you, it’s part of you, your flesh, blood, spirit. Once it’s out it’s no longer yours. It has a soul of its own.

My stories belong only to themselves.

Our dear mother, her belly a balloon swollen with not one but two big, fat, fleshy babies, her skin marred with a double serving of stretch marks that would ban her from ever wearing a bikini again. Our dear mother, still coming to terms with the understanding that though she breathed life into you and me, our souls and dreams are separate from hers.

Our dear mother, her dreams for us smashed like a thousand broken mirrors because she can’t let them go. Dreams of rich, kind, selfless husbands and beautiful dresses that are neither secondhand nor handmade and hair that’s met a hairbrush and skin without blemishes and feet with no callouses and legs that aren’t so muscular and mouths that don’t belong to sailors and class and manners and etiquette and kindness.


Kindness. It’s her only dream for us that’s come true, I think. I hope this comforts her. I hope it tucks the edges of her blanket around her shoulders at night, plants a kiss on her forehead, turns out her light—kindness.

You are one of the kindest people I know.

I think our mother knows this: you and me, we’re trying to do the right thing. And the right thing to do is the kindest thing to do. So let’s keep doing what we’re doing. Let’s keep our hearts open. Let’s keep making stuff with our hands. And let’s keep telling stories.

Happy birthday, Jessica.

twins sitting on dock

Read the first “for my twin sister“ (written in 2008) and Jessica’s response to this letter.