“Mak, are you having a boy or girl baby?”

The rumble of my dad’s old Mercedes-Benz turbo diesel drowned out my 4-year old voice. My mom, little brother, and I sat in the back of the car as my dad drove us towards our weekly grocery trip. I repeated it more than once, “Mommy, are you having a boy or girl baby?” My mom replied with a smile, “You’re going to have a sister.

I remember the day when we brought my sister home. Our family packed ourselves in my mom’s light blue Dodge Caravan and we drove back to our apartment. My dad carried my sister in her car seat upstairs and placed her in the living room. I sat beside her as my mom began to unpack the hospital bag. I peered into the car seat and took a big whiff of my sister’s “new baby” scent. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

To my surprise it wasn’t the “new baby” smell, but the smell of McDonald’s French fries. It was that fragrant smell of fried starch and salt being shuffled into the iconic red French fry carton. Being a 4-year old, I didn’t know any better. I begged my dad to take us to McDonald’s for some French fries. Despite my pleas and persuasiveness, I sat there “French fry” less next to a baby who made my yearn for crispy fries.


Joking aside, I am incredibly grateful to have my little-french-fry-smelling-sister in my life. She has grown up into a young independent, hard-working, smart, and humble woman.

Here’s to another alcohol-less year of life, happy 20th birthday, my dear!