A Package of Cookies
By Laila Dola
This piece is about my relationship with my father, and my appreciation towards him for bringing our family to the United States. His sacrifice has given me the opportunity for a better future.
My family is everything to me. I realized this while sharing with them a package of cookies.
My two younger sisters, Shaila and Nila, were five and two and I was nine years old. We had emigrated from Bangladesh to the United States just a few months prior, knowing little to no English.
One day, my father decided to take us out for a walk. My father has a habit of spontaneously coming up with crazy activities for us, so we didn’t question the fact that it was windy and bitterly cold outside. We stepped out into the frigid air.
After walking three blocks, my father stopped at a small grocery store. He walked straight to the cookie aisle, with the three of us following, like good little ducklings. He said to us, “Pick one.”
That’s when the negotiations began. Shaila wanted chocolate cookies. Nila wanted vanilla cookies. And I didn’t care which cookies. After a few minutes, which felt like hours, no decision had been made. My father picked up a small package of cookies and declared, “Let’s get this one.”
At the cash register, I watched my father count out the change, while my sisters were giggling with each other. That’s when it hit me. It was a sacrifice for my father to buy those cookies. At the time, he was working day and night as a delivery man. I suppose I already knew how difficult it was for him. But that package of cookies made me fully appreciate what he was doing for our family. To give us a better life in our new home country.
We stepped back outside into the freezing cold wind. My father stopped, turned to us, and ripped open the box. My sisters were like a pack of ravenous wolves. They grabbed a few cookies each. When my father put the cookies in front of me, I noticed he was not taking one for himself. I also saw that my sisters were ready for more, and there were only a few left. I told my father, “No thank you, I am full.”
My father smiled at me. I smiled back. It was a smile that spoke so many words. Words that cannot be communicated verbally, but only through a look of understanding.
In that moment, at nine years old, I decided that I would do whatever I can within my ability, and work hard towards a better future for me and my family.
Laila Dola is a student at Hunter College, majoring in Emerging Media. She has experience with writing, design and technology and aspires to advance her knowledge.