Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy (Chinese) New Year!

Guo Nian Hao
Gōngxǐ fācái

Happy New Year! Welcome to the year 4707, the year of the Ox. We celebrated tonight with a trip to that authentic Chinese restaurant, Panda Express. Yes, well, it was the girls' choice.

I put L's hair up into ponytail-nubbin things, which turned out to be a very Chinese-looking hairstyle. Tonight at the restaurant, it was so cute to watch her little 4-year-old self eating her orange chicken and noodles with chopsticks. She'd take one in each hand and push the food together. Once she had some trapped between the sticks, she grabbed both stick with one hand to pick it up and put it in her mouth. She's pretty proficient with those chopsticks for someone so young. I grabbed my cellphone and snapped a few pictures.

Then I snapped one that would be perfect for One Thing's Metaphor Monday. Of course, it doesn't start until next week, but I'm going to go ahead and jump in this week. Because I'm a rebel like that.

By the time L was almost done eating, her hands were tired and put her fork to use, without putting the chopsticks down. As I watched her deftly using both types of utensils, I was struck by how she was balancing her fork and her chopsticks, but it's more than eating utensils. As an internationally adopted child, she will always have to balance her past and her present, her culture and...her culture. When she babbles nonsense words, her voice still retains the Chinese inflections that dominated her first 20 months. Her favorite foods are noodles and rice and the other day she turned down a *chocolate chip cookie* and insisted on a spring roll instead. However, she also loves chicken nuggets and french fries, Barbies and Hannah Montana, playing Chutes and Ladders with her dad, and she's eagerly looking forward to her birthday party at Build-a-Bear. A typical American kid.

A typical Chinese-American kid.


Anonymous said...

L's hair looks soooo cute! Love it! Happy CNY!


Anonymous said...

Ooooh, I LOVE it! That is a perfectly beautiful metaphor, and EXACTLY the kind of thing I'm hoping to get! Do you mind if I use it as an example when we "kick off" this coming Monday?

Thanks for playing (and your children are beautiful)!!


Anonymous said...

that is perfect...balancing her "two" cultures...lovely...

it will become her own...

Valerie said...

I love this post!! It's a beautiful thing, enjoying two cultures and parents who want her to do so.

Her hair is adorable!!