Wednesday, November 3, 2010

yeah, it's been a while.

11/2, 11:32 Pm. Been in USA for about a month now, me and my two amazing angels. I've grown so close to them. I miss my wife.

I've come to America with a list of goals. Number one: introduce my offspring to a family that had long given up hope of leaves sprouting from my branch of the Stine tree. A sense of obligation drove me to this as I suspect a return visit will be long in coming. From both sides of the pond. I, having fulfilled my familial obligations on the western side, will focus on familial obligations of the eastern side. They, my western family, having met my progeny, must decide if prejudice and fear can be overcome long enough to suffer the journey red-side. My stories haven't helped, I know.

Number two goal: Immerse, soak even, my girls in my native world. In this goal I have netted the most incredible gains. Anna, Amanda, both girls, dove into my world with no fear. They swam among the various schools of family and friends effortlessly. There were so many cases of daddy standing slack-jawed at their English proficiency that people began to whisper of dementia. It's true. In one crystal clear scene my Annie was having her eyes examined by an optomologist in Goodyear, Arizona. He adjusted his fly-eyed contraption in front of her not-so-Chinese-eyes while advising her soothingly to tell him what she saw. She did so. Easily, in English, absolutely correctly. Food was a slow-going introduction but in the end, they never cried for white rice. I suspect a passerby would never suspect these girls had been US citizens for only 28 days. Proud does not cover my emotions.

Goal number three: Get some old world while I can. I have gained a minimum of ten pounds since my arrival from Hong Kong some 28 days past. I've eaten Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and American, oh yeah American. I've enjoyed an American BBQ of an entire pig, American beef steaks with baked potatoes, Chicken wings in three distinct flavors, and chili. Turkey chili, canned chili, suicide hot chili and chili-cheese frys. Man I've eaten so many bowls of breakfast cereal with fresh fruit added that my first Chinese noodle breakfast may trigger gastrinological rebellion. I had to wait until today to do any clothes shopping here in the world-wide consumer Mecca. Walmart slapped me hard with easy prices and myriad opportunities but it was a little known Kohl's store that stole my wallets heart. I spent as much as I saved and this fact alone guarantees my spousal satisfaction home-side.

A final, first achieved goal, was the Americanization of my two daughters citizenship status. Life hands us peaches every now and then and when the Family Planning Bureau in ShouGuan, China gave us travel permission for both our daughters I was slow to grasp the sweetness. It took an email session with an elder sister to trigger the implications and once I got it, we got it. Annie and Mandy are now US citizens, visa required for any and all trips to China, their homeland.

It's 12:29 Am 11/3. My belly is full of macaroni salad, chicken wings and baked beans, my mind is engulfed in Canadian whiskey and memories of Halloween highs. It is a trip we will never forget. Thank you, my home land, for being even sweeter than I remembered.