Home again since February 2020

After a very smooth flight from JFK to SFO today, we arrived about 40 minutes early at SFO into a newly built terminal, Harvey Milk Terminal 1. It felt pretty strange, as we normally arrive in Terminal 2, so when we landed, I almost felt like a foreigner going through this shiny but unrecognizable terminal. We arrived at my parents’ place a short while after that, leaving the sunny blue skies by the airport for the drab, grey, thick overcast of the Outer Richmond District of San Francisco. Yep, I had arrived home with a very cold welcome. Chris complained endlessly of the fog and dip in temperature.

As soon as I walked through the door, my dad greeted me. I attempted to hug him and was totally thwarted, as he backed away and awkwardly patted my shoulder. Thanks, Dad. Good to see you after over a year and a half, too. I also attempted to hug my mom, and she feebly just patted my back and asked if we had eaten on the plane. As per usual, the Asian parents’ love language is not through physical affection or said words, but through asking if your belly is full from nourishment.

My mom had already prepared baby clothes and diapers for us as gifts, and my dad bought two gallons of whole milk for our visit, even though I told him we’d only be at the house for a few days. My parents have stopped drinking dairy milk for a number of years already because cow milk has been giving my mom mucus, so she’s switched to almond or soy milk instead. But my dad is still okay having dairy, and he insisted that the baby and I need the fat from whole milk, which is why he got it. I was really touched by his concern and thought, but just thought, wow, that’s a LOT of milk to have just because I happen to be here!

My dad was unusually talkative while we sat and talked around the dining room table while my mom predictably was nervously rummaging through random things and fidgeting in the kitchen until I told her to stop and join us. I was happy to see that despite my dad’s usual negativity and complaints about rising costs of everything that he looked in pretty good health. He looked like he was about the same weight, and his skin tone looked good, plus his face had some good fat on them. My mom, on the other hand, always seems to look worse and worse when I come home. She looked even skinnier today than a year and a half ago, her hair even thinner, and her cheeks more sunken in. She told me that she’s physically gotten weaker over the last year and needs to rest more after cooking or cleaning and even walks, but her mental health just seems at its peak of nervousness, which obviously doesn’t do anything for her overall health. It also doesn’t help that she’s stopped caring about dressing herself well, so nothing fits her properly, which makes her look only more haggardly. I don’t know what I am going to do about my parents; it seems like nothing really helps them.

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