Sunday, June 19, 2011
Son Noah Sends Photos From Northern Vietnam!!
In general, I make it a practice not to live vicariously through my children. But I hope I will be forgiven for imagining myself traveling alongside my son this past week as he and a friend motorbiked through Sapa, the very northern region of Vietnam, only about 50 kilometers from the Chinese border. He shot photos of ducks and goats, water buffalo and wonderful butterflies. He met children and old people. He stopped by the side of the road and stood in yoga poses.
Yesterday, in a Skype call, he took his father and me slowly through his Facebook photos. I really felt like I was there.
I also felt something else. Here is my son, age 22, able to take a relaxing holiday in Vietnam, not far from Hanoi. I can't help thinking back. I can't help thinking about all those soldiers, American and Vietnamese alike. All those young men, loved by their mothers, who fought a crazy and awful war in Vietnam. So many young men suffered and died. Their lives, lost. For what? My heart just aches thinking about this. I close my eyes and think about all the mothers whose sons left for Vietnam and never came back. I am deeply humbled.
And then I look at these photos. I see the man smiling here. He was a soldier who fought for South Vietnam. His name is Mo. Noah stayed in his guest house in Ho Chi Minh City. Mo is smiling. And so, I am smiling too.