Sunday, June 22, 2008


I kept meaning to blog in more detail about Mae's reaction to our reunion but I guess my nose got in the way. On Saturday at the picnic I had a great chat with Renee, Zoe's mom. Her take on it is that Mae has a very strong emotional recall when surrounded by her Huaihua sisters. She's smart enough to understand what being with them is all about, and it probably throws her into complete emotional turmoil to remember, albeit unconsciously, her life before she joined us. And, being the 3rd child, I haven't done much to help her "own" her heritage. She probably identifies more with being Jewish than she does being Chinese. While we get together with Zoe, Angelina and Caitlan on occasion, it's not alot. After this reunion, seeing her withdraw right before my eyes, enduring a return to waking all night long screaming for me ("Mommy, where are you? I want you!") and bearing the brunt of her toddler tantrums ("Mommy! Get me some juice NOW!!") has all been draining. I think I'm willing to give Chinese school a go this Fall. It's a schlep. But it's a good school and a school rich in different activities when the girls are older (dancing, choir, art etc.). She'll be with her friends (Angelina, Zoe, Shayna and Xiao all attend). Maybe, just maybe, putting her in contact with more of her Chinese heritage will help even out all the emotional turmoil into more manageable doses, rather than have it explode in our faces every year at reunion time. I'll call CCAI this week.

1 comment:

Beth and Shayna said...

Shayna definitely identifies herself being Jewish, rather than Chinese. Case in point - when leaving the reunion, Shayna was talking about the Lion Dance and how it was like the show Kai-Lan. I asked Shayna where she was born and she said China. I asked Shayna where Kai-Lan was born and she said China. I told Shayna Kai-Lan is chinese, just like Shayna. She then yelled, "Shayna is not Chinese!" I asked her if daddy was and she said no, mommy-no. I asked Shayna if she is Jewish and she said proudly, "YES!" OY!