Things My Mother Told Me


Noah is napping and I am missing and thinking about my mother. Momz. The “z” on the momz started out because I just wanted to spell it that way. And then it stuck. But I don’t call her “momz”. I call her umma, because that is Korean and although I have never said this out loud to anyone, I worry a little that Noah will not call me that. It’s not the kind of worry that I lose sleep over, but I believe it’s the kind that finds its way into my dreams. And I wake up feeling off and my head is full of competing analyses as to what it all means.

I know I’m not alone though, that’s the beauty of it all. Some of us are just wired to analyze everything to a slow death…

My mother, told me a lot of things growing up. I’ll share just a few.

~ If you using the tampon you gonna lose your virgin.

This was when I got my period and was still waiting for a ticker tape parade in my honor, for entering womanhood. I had already consumed Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. many times over and was fully expecting more than just a talk with my mother while she sat on the edge of the tub and I sat on the toilet with cramps. I thought for years that tampons were Korean virginity stealers and virginity was a pre-requisite to so many things Korean when I was growing up. I realize now just how sheltered I was to believe it all. Even at eleven.

If you coloring your hair gonna fall out all your hair, like Mrs. Kim daughter.

I did it anyway, just like I eventually discovered tampons and then subsequently lost my virginity. But there was that pause just like after most everything my mother told me, when she didn’t want me to do something. Having an under-aged daughter with dyed hair was a sure sign that your daughter was either a go-go dancer or in a gang or both, back in the Korean community we traveled the circles of. I never went blond though. It’s a tad skanky for my taste, and my mother would have been bed-ridden for years from the stigma.

~ If you _________________________, then nobody gonna marrying you.

This could actually be the one thing my mother told me, that not only trumps but encompasses everything else she’s ever told me. The massive mighty manic M-word. Marriage. Or “marrying” to my mother, just because she is more comfortable adding -ing to all verbs. The Chinese fortune cookie game where your read your fortune and add the “in bed” to the end to make it funnier? My mother’s version would be to add “then nobody gonna marrying you” to the end, if there was such a thing as a Korean fortune cookie. Although there is a Japanese version. Hmmm.

“If you using the tampon you gonna lose your virgin, then nobody gonna marrying you.”

If you coloring your hair gonna fall out all your hair, like Mrs. Kim daughter, then nobody gonna marrying you.”

See? It works. I’m going to try it the next time I have a fortune cookie. You should too and see how it goes.

Always dishing,


~ ~ ~ Thank you to Judy Blume for her words.

Photo Credit: Cedric


  1. JoyGrenade

    My southern mother said if you don’t learn to cook no one will marry you. So I did learn to cook and one of the things she stressed was to have a variety of dishes. I’ve made many gourmet meals for all the variety of men that have come and gone and I’ve never agreed to marry any of them. I like variety around my table as well as on top of it.

    Noah will call you what you teach him to call you. It may change in the presence of others as time goes by but In private you will always be his umma.

  2. Sparky

    I am Mom in front of the world and when he is in a normal state of being. I become Mama when he is distressed or in emotional need. I wanted to be Momma all the time, but now it is a very special thing because I know it is just between us. So it may be with Noah, but only time will tell.

    My own mother never gave me warnings about no one marrying me. Instead I was tormented by her daily worrying me over “what will people think?”. I spent a good portion of my life worrying about these mythical “people”. Now I don’t care at all.

    As usual I love your thoughts. Keep ’em coming!

    1. Jun Song Author

      Awwwwwww, Sparky, thank you for putting in to words the answer to some of my questions 🙂 To tell you the truth, I’ve never consciously thought about what we call our moms, etc…until I becamse one myself 🙂

  3. Shelly

    Awakened early on a Saturday morn to find this tender blog. I believe Noah will call u umma bcuz u refer to urself that wSuay and ur bond is so strong…why wouldnt he? 😉

    Such a sweet thing to read.

  4. kcsmum

    Melts my heart when you speak so lovingly about Momz. You will always be Umma in Noah’s heart. And somehow I imagine a gang of tween boys hanging around your kitchen table. And you’ll be Umma to all of them. Noah may refer to you as “my mom” to his friends the same way you refer to “Momz” to us. But in his heart and mind I have no doubt you will always be Umma. Remember that precious smile you wanted to bottle? It appears whenever Noah sees his Umma. 🙂

  5. Melissa

    I’m catching up on your blogs since I’m new to them. This, as well as the anal sex blog, made me laugh. I’ll share with you the advice my meek, mild, prim, proper and very southern mother told me just before my second marriage…..”Be a lady in public and a whore in the bedroom”. Needless to say I almost fainted. Lol. Momz…..gotta love ’em.


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