My daughter and I were preparing dinner. Chinese food. I was making chicken lettuce wraps and she was using toothpicks to make little fruit kabobs comprised of canned pineapple chunks and maraschino cherries (totally traditional Chinese fare, right?). At which point I came up with the idea of serving the whole meal on the coffee table in the family room.
“Come on! It’ll be fun!!” I said. “We’ll sit on the ground and be a regular Chinese family tonight!”
then my daughter says “have you always wanted to be a Chinese family??” as if, with my fun-Friday-night approach to dinner, I was actually expressing some deep seated, Toni-Morrison-The-Bluest-Eye desire to be something I never would or could be. (full disclosure at this point – I’m not Chinese, but you probably already knew that from my fruit kabob description)
“Of course not, honey! I’ve always wanted to be the family we are,” was my immediate reply.
But the question deserves some consideration. I mean, despite frequently channeling the obsessive and frantic Tiger Mom persona of my Chinese sisters, would I really want to BE one of them??
Let’s see. They’re probably way better cooks. And the newscasts make it seem like they have tiny houses to clean. [plus]
But their everyday-wear seems to all be in grays and browns. Not my best colors. [minus]
And the women seem exceptionally slender. And petite. [plus again]
But the deciding factor in not wanting to be a Chinese mother would really have to be…that I wouldn’t have been able to spend a cold, snowy Colorado school-day-off with the people I love most in the world cooking Chinese food and sitting at a coffee table eating it.
God bless the USA. And God bless us.