I was raised in Korea from both my maternal and paternal grandparents up until the age of 9 and I have a few vivid memories I hold dear. Sometimes it all feels like a dream because of how different my life was there compared to how it changed once I immigrated here to sweet U. S. of A. As a daily chore, I was required to wake up at the peak of dawn probably between 5 AM – 7 AM to fetch a jug of fresh, spring water. In order to do this I had to hike up this wooded trail that was located right behind the home I lived in, all the way up for about two miles or so until I reached a looooong line of the townspeople waiting for their share of spring water. I would place my jug (it was sometimes two jugs!) in line and go play until an adult called to let me know that it was soon to be my turn. I would then place a jug under this little trickle of a stream provided by a plastic tube that was installed inside the side of this mountain sized wall and wait. I would wait, wait, and wait some more until my jug(s) filled up to the top.
Then I would go home. I would go home with my now heavy one or two jug of water filled to the brim. Imagine a tiny, 6 year old Korean girl struggling to bring these jugs home. It must have been at least a 5 gallon jug –or maybe it was a lot smaller but I’m just remembering it to be much bigger? Anyways, my mission was to carry the jugs home and it didn’t matter how much water I lost along the way because by the time I got home, it was nearly empty. It was almost always empty by the time I reached home but I was still praised for it.
I realized just last year that it wasn’t a chore requiring my help. My grandparents were actually helping me, disciplining me, to be a part of a family where everyone had a job. They were simply including me… or at least that’s what I think. I mean come on, what’s the point of sending off a kid to fetch water when there was barely any by the time she arrived home?
See what I did there folks? I do miss my childhood after all.
**Please note that times were different then, especially in the area that I lived in. It was a small town where everyone knew everyone and I was protected within the community.
This is part of a blog every day in May challenge by Jenni from Story of My Life.