Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Surprises In Store

As we were leafing through the Sunday paper circulars this morning F announced loudly that she wanted all of the items in a particular section for her birthday (it's not until August).  Grammie pointed out that all the must haves this season were from Toys 'R Us to which F responded with surprise "you have that here too?"!

There are a great many challenges to re-joining this part of the globe and as an adult I find it challenging and sometimes terrifying all in the same minute but I can't imagine what it's like to have your first memories of being American feel so odd and jumbled as if you are "coming to America" for the first time and as a fully bilingual child at the young age of 4.

As F talks with her sister and brother she speaks with the cadence of a young Chinese child...there are no verb tenses only different sentence structure..."I'm going to school" comes out "Today in the morning I go to school" and playing with a toy mobile phone turns into a conversation for the UN as she switches from language to language with ease and complete unawareness.

For me it's cute...how could it not be...a blonde American girl with local Shanghainese language.  For F it's a challenge and a strength, both she is completely unaware of and a bizarre understanding of what it must be like to come to America for the first time, again.

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