Trong trăm ngàn nỗi lo lắng của các bậc cha mẹ khi gởi con đi học nước ngoài, có một nỗi lo mang tính nhị nguyên. Thấy con cứ hùng hục nước mắm cơm chiên, nói tiếng Việt như gió, rụt rè lễ phép…, lại phấp phỏng sợ con không hội nhập được với văn hóa bản địa. Cũng không khá hơn, những phụ huynh có con tự tin, một chút ngổ ngáo, tiếng Anh tiếng Tây líu lo trơn tuột… cũng ngồi thở dài sườn sượt lo con mình mất gốc (?).
Quan điểm này ắt tùy người, và ai cũng có lý, nếu như vừa muốn con mình giỏi giang năng động như Mỹ, vừa tình cảm hiếu thuận như Việt Nam. Quả là nan giải!
Thế mới biết, sinh con ra mới hiểu lòng cha mẹ.
Tôi, một gã cày cuốc cật lực cầu học cho con nơi xứ lạ mà không bao giờ cảm thấy yên lòng. Tôi thấy mình may mắn khi đọc những dòng này của con trai, viết 2 năm sau khi chia tay với quê hương:
A Night without Sleep
Another year has passed by on a foreign land. Here I am, sitting by the window, reminiscing about the day I first stepped on the American soil. It was October 15th, 2008, a rainy day with the temperature of zero degree Celsius. Due to the bad weather, my flight was delayed for more than two hours; therefore, I got a chance to leisurely enjoy my very first cup of Starbucks Cappuccino while gathering my fragmented thoughts after an hour in frenzy mode trying to get all the paperwork and custom procedures done. Feeling uneasy, my father went asking around, trying to figure out when there would be an update on new flight times. Maybe it was the chilly weather that got to him. Shortly after,my mom and brother were off to buy some food. Before I had noticed, I was sitting all alone at the gate with tons of luggage in front of me. I looked around as I was feeling bored. There were actually many people who got their flights delayed just like us. They looked so sad and depressed as if they were saying “Please get me out of here”.
Suddenly, that feeling got to me as well, so I took a deep breath and I saw something like smoke coming from my mouth. “Wow, so this is my breath,” I talked to myself. It was a rather exciting experience after 18 years living in a tropical country with only two seasons a year. I took a stroll around the terminal right after my brother had come back from buying food. I walked and walked, but there was no end to the terminal. Chicago airport was so enormous that one of its dozens of terminals could even be bigger than Tan Son Nhat airport.
Wow, what a country, I talked to myself again with a feeling of half jealousy and half happiness. First, I was jealous because I noticed how small our country must have been in the eyes of Uncle Sam. Second, I was happy because I was proud of becoming a part of this big, rich and most important of all, “free” country -a country in which I would not have to pay in order to playing basketball or wear a uniform to school. My memory of Vietnam, at that moment, was nothing more than the light of the flickering candle in front of the whistling wind. My head was filled with the hopes towards the brighter future on this foreign land that I forgot all about my home country.
Well, I guessed it was natural considering how childish I was at that time or at least I thought I was childish. However, another year has passed and I am still feeling the same way as I did before. Will there ever be anything that could protect my candle for Vietnam against the fierce wind of this promise land?.
Do your best, Vietnam; I will be waiting.
Happy New Year, my beloved country.
Con đã là công dân thế giới. Tuổi trẻ của con sẽ đi, sẽ thấy muôn vạn điều hay ho mới mẻ mà cả đời ta không thấy được. Nhưng con sẽ mãi mãi là kẻ tối tăm mù lòa, nếu con đánh mất một điều duy nhất: lòng thương nguồn nhớ cội mà ta đã gieo vào lòng con từ lúc còn thơ. Đó cũng là điều duy nhất làm cho mọi hoa trái văn minh mà con học được nơi xứ lạ trở thành có ý nghĩa.
Con làm ta an lòng, con trai ta ạ!