Literary Arts Magazine Spring 2019 - Page 49

Then she met and fell in love with a white man, which was a crime in South Africa at that time. She wanted to have a baby with that man without any responsibilities from him. That is why she had Noah and she gave him the name Trevor Noah, a name of no meaning whatsoever in South Africa, be- cause she wanted her child be- holden to no fate. She worked very hard and raised Noah alone in her own amazing way. She taught Noah English as his first language and tried hard to bring him a better education even though they were very poor. Sometimes they had to eat “dog bones” for their meals. She sent Noah to study in a private school, bought him En- glish books, and let him watch American shows, which no South African people did at that time. She taught Noah a lot of things, including inde- pendence, society, understand- ing, and thinking deeply to be a good man. She taught him how to treat a woman, taught him not to ask for something they could not afford or was not necessary, taught him to decide what he thought was right and to be re- sponsible for his decision, let him have some experiences which she never had a chance to experience herself such as pic- nicking together on Saturday. If she and Noah had an ar- gument, she wanted them to write letters to each other as friends to complain about that instead of forcing him to do whatever she wanted. The way she raised Noah was wonder- ful. It is like she brought the whole world to him to explore and discover himself. She made the best things for him. That reminds me about my Mom. I was born in a poor vil- lage in Northeast Vietnam. Af- ter being married to my Dad for 5 years, she had three chil- dren which made us poorer and poorer. When we didn’t have enough food to eat, she decided to go to China to look for a job with hope that she could make more money to raise her kids. I was told that, when my eldest sister started going to school, my Dad got in an accident while he tried to fix the house before a storm came. My Mom came back home and heard my sister’s teacher complain- ing about her studies. My Mom said nothing is more import- ant than her child’s education. So she decided to use the rest of her money she made when she worked in China, after 49 paying my dad’s hospital bill, to start a small business as a butcher in our hometown and took care of our education. Through her business, she made friends with all the teach- ers in the school, which was why our grade report came to her before we got it from our teacher and we would be in big trouble if our grades were bad. Trust me, big, big trouble. One time, my sister got a C in Math in 3rd grade, so my Mom told my sister to climb to a tree, and answer all the questions of her homework. Every time she answered wrong, my mom would pretend to use her big butcher knife to cut the tree. She did the same with all of us, and we all were so scared that we didn’t dare be lazy anymore. That is my Mom. She always told us that education is the key for us to be successful. She apologized to us because she didn’t have a chance to go to school, have a good job, or give us a better life, but in my mind she is my superhero, just like Noah’s mother. She inspires me to try harder and harder every day to learn English and trans- fer my degree certification to find a better job, which would help me have a better life and support my parents in Vietnam.