May 19, 2022
I haven’t seen my mom since COVID-19 launched its invasion of the world. Three years ago on a hot summer afternoon and 3 hours before I flew into Beijing to conduct a weeklong workshop, I sat on my parents’ concrete pavement eating a bowl of my mom’s dumplings.
The sun left a little shade on one side of the yard. My father placed a tiny table in that shade. The black pavement had absorbed so much heat during the day, and the sun was still up. The heat fully engulfed me from head to toe. My mom sat by my side, lovingly gazing at me as she did when I was very young, while she held a bamboo fan and gently waved it at me to bring some breeze and cool air. Her loving gaze and warm smile are deeply etched in my mind.
On the table and beside the dumplings, she had cooked my other three favorite dishes, which were all within arm’s reach since the table was so small. But my mom kept moving the dishes closer and closer to my dumpling bowl. It was as if she misinterpreted my slowdown in eating to…