I have decided I must write in snippets.
That cute little drawing up there is from my oldest boy. He is learning traditional Chinese Painting during one of his afternoon clubs at school. While it's nothing to go on about, I do like that they are teaching an actual skill... the proper way to hold the brush "just so, like this mom" and to make skinny strokes or broad strokes depending on the angle of the brush.
Then there is the panda of course. Pandas. Always Pandas. We live in the city of Pandas. It's quite famous and exotic. And for some reason, everyone and their mother spoke this to me as if it was some Great Comfort when we were moving here. "At least you'll get to see the Pandas," they would say in all seriousness. I would think, does the idea of seeing a Panda comfort you when you miss your family and friends? I think not. But they are cute and have a thumb and so I cheer on for the Pandas.
The Turkey Trot.
I somehow rallied a few school staff to join me in a China-side Turkey Trot last Thanksgiving. It's a personal family tradition, and now we're trying to bring it around the world. Well, not really but it's just a way to carry on my traditions, stay motivated to run, and have an excuse to bring people together and most importantly... design a tshirt. So the 2nd Annual Turkey Trot advertisements have gone into circulation.
This Little Guy.
He's so sweet I tell you. Just so sweet.
It happened again tonight. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed my children. Or perhaps enjoyed is another word for: I wasn't yelling and frustrated, irritated or impatient, or wishing my day would just end. And my husband wasn't even home.
They all gathered around and I promise every single one of them was talking straight at me, needing me in some way. One was so intently explaining his plans to recruit, train, and organize a team of baseball players (made up of 1st and 2nd graders mind you) at the ever-important daily venue of recess. He was so intense I nearly started worrying if I would make the team myself. So, clearly he needed some input as to how not to scare off the rest of these kids who are from countries where baseball is about as familiar a word as fjwimenbryeuwor, as well as some encouragement so as not to deflate his enthusiasm or delight in something good like teamwork and being a leader. So there was him.
Then, my dearest daughter, who had been waiting so patiently for me to give her some lap reading time while I first fed the baby and listened to Baseball Fanatic, just couldn't handle it anymore and began shoving the book in front of my face, "read! read!"
Curls was cheering on his brother, piping in on the sidelines with anecdotes and commentary on different kids and their skill level and what should be done with them according to the Fanatical Plan to Have Baseball Take Over Recess.
There was a lot of homework. A lot of Chinese characters to be learned and read and copied. An antsy, drooling baby who no longer sits still but can't crawl or sit on his own yet. A girl with a marker and a refusal to be left out of any situation. It could have been a mess. But it wasn't, and I was pleasantly, gratefully, surprised.