Today, as we sat at the dining room table eating dinner in our Vermont home, Mei-mei said, “Mom… I want to go home. Are we going home soon?” I responded, “Where is that? What home?” She replied, “My China home.” Then Jie-jie who has been on cloud 9 talking about her new kindergarten teacher and awaiting the beginning of school said, “Yeah, I really want to go back to my Chinese kindergarten. I think it is the best one.”
And then we all talked about how this is home but China is home, too, and that we will go back for a couple of weeks in December (man, I am hoping that the kindergarten will let the kids visit). I want to just hunker down in Guangzhou and kind of go back to our old life for a spell. It is gone so completely.
Even before that conversation at the dinner table Jason and I had spoken a bit about how the kids no longer speak Chinese when they play, or even just spontaneously. We talked about how we missed Chinese food – how we don’t feel particularly grounded here at the moment and the fact that our friends are now beginning their year in Guangzhou is giving us all the feeling that summer is drawing to a close and it is time to head back… except that it isn’t.