On My Father’s Passing

My father passed away on Friday morning. It had been a chaotic morning for me. I was exhausted. I was late to catch a train from Paris to Bordeaux because I got lost on the way to the Metro. My Metro pass had run out, so I had to get a new ticket and there was someone at the ticket machine. I barely made a Metro which was just about to leave. I knew it would be close. My sister tried to call me on the Metro, but I was trying to see how much time I had to get from the Metro to the regional train station and I missed her call.

When she couldn’t reach me by phone, she texted my brother and me with the news.

My Metro train was approaching the station and I had four minutes to transfer from the Metro to the station before my train for Bordeaux left. There was a ticket validation check on the way from the Metro to the regional train station. I had checked on the Metro and if I missed my train for Bordeaux, the rest of the trains that day were sold out. I had a noon meeting. I ran through the station, dragging luggage, as fast as my non-sprinter endurance runner (who hadn’t run in awhile) legs would take me. My seat was in the last car of the train. I got into the car, relieved to have made the train and there was someone in my seat. In a moment of panic, I wondered if my seat had been sold because I wasn’t there in time, but that was just paranoia as the person in my seat had just gotten confused about their seat placement.

I placed my bags in the luggage and sunk into the seat just as the train began moving. Then I tried to FaceTime my siblings, but the signal wasn’t strong enough on the train. I saw notices for wifi on the train but couldn’t connect. Finally, I disconnected then was able to get on the internet.

Both my sister and I were in a state of shock. We knew that our father was old and that his time was coming sooner rather than later, but not this soon. Our dad had just sent me birthday greetings two days before. He had just video chatted with my sister the day before. He had done a video chat with my sister, my daughter and I as we were driving last week. We knew that our dad had been in the hospital recently, but he was vague as to why, telling us only that he was having trouble eating. He said that he would be fine if he could just have someone take care of him, so we tried our best, across the Pacific Ocean, to try to find him help, but then he changed his mind and said things were too costly.

My sister was the most upset of the three of us, which makes sense because: 1) she was the closest to our dad; 2) she had not yet experienced the death of someone close to her (her mom is still living whereas my brother and I have lost our mom, and in more recent years, a close aunt – my mom’s sister, and a month ago, our uncle, my aunt’s husband); 3) she’s the youngest of us; 4) she’s going through the most transition right now. In the past 10 months, she’s moved away from everyone she knows, had to start a new life in a new country, with a sister she hasn’t known for very long, and now lost her father. My sister said that our father finally felt that he could let go because he felt that she would be okay, which was a comfort, but she felt so sad that he was alone when he made the transition from this world.

Of my siblings, I am the one who lived with my father the least, and I really only know him through them. He had left my mother before I had a memory of them ever being together and I only saw him 4-5 times (once a year) until I was 6 and then not again until I was 16, after my mother’s death. We exchanged letters occasionally. I did my best to make him proud, in spite of it all. I longed for a father to do father-daughter things with, but I wondered if he would have done these things even had he stayed in our lives. From what my siblings say, I have doubts.

But now, he was gone. A permanent ending to a relationship that had never really begun. A finality to something that was always ephemeral.

I was a world away from everyone, both literally and figuratively, on a train, on a trip that represented a rediscovery of parts of myself that I hadn’t accessed in years, a trip by myself, for myself, during a seemingly never-ending pandemic, that had taken every ounce of resolve to give myself permission to take. I couldn’t be there for my sister. I couldn’t help my brother, and I was going to a place that represented the closest thing I had to a home.

My father’s death in this context felt also like a homegoing, because my father had always been an apparition in my life, appearing occasionally to remind me that I was not really an orphan, that I had histories and connections that were part of me that I could not ever fully escape or ignore, that I was, despite an enduring estrangement, still a part of him, and that he was also a part of me.

I spent moments for the rest of that day, in communication with my siblings as they tried to take care of themselves, each other, and the logistics of our American citizen father dying in Bangkok, none of us speaking Thai, his wife (my sister’s mother and his next of kin) also not speaking Thai and not initially having a visa to enter Thailand from Burma, and all of us unable to take care of anything even if we went to Thailand. But these were moments. For the most part, I did what I do in the face of grief when there are other things to do and people to be present with, I moved forward as best I could.

It is only now, as I am returning home, from a trip that has been so extremely profound for me, that I have time to reflect on my father’s death. And in this moment, I have an overwhelming wish for peace for all of us. For him, in his passing, that all of the guilt he may have carried about what he did and didn’t do in our lives, that all the love he meant to show, in his own way, to each of us, that all of the hope he had for each of us, that he made peace with all of it, whether things were the way he hoped for or not. For his wife, as she moves forward without him. For us, his children, as we reckon with our individual relationships with him in life.

My father is gone, but before he left us, he gave me the greatest gift in bringing me together with my sister, and in having also fathered my brother who is my greatest champion. My siblings and I have one another, and we are stronger for it. My siblings and I are imperfect, but we are all doing the best that we can, with the resources we have and the lives we’ve lived.

I don’t know how to end this reflection, so I will end this way. My father was a deeply flawed, incredibly stubborn, imperfect person, but he was my father. He was human. From a deep sense of his own inability to be who he wanted to be, he put his expectations on others. He simultaneously craved and feared love, from those he loved most. So perhaps in his death as with his life, there is a lesson for me, a lesson in who I have been, who I am and who I want to be. May he find rest in his transition.

A Week with My Sister

A week ago today, I met my sister for the very first time.

These are some pictures for our first 24 hours together (with my older brother). You can see, if you look closely in our first picture from the airport how overwhelmed with emotion I am at her arrival, and in the second how joyful I am that she’s here.

I have been waiting my whole life, in a sense, to be a big sister.

But I’ve waiting intensely for the last 3 months to have my sister with me, given the civil unrest happening in her home country of Burma (Myanmar).

It’s amazing how, while I’ve only known my sister for a very short time (even through e-messages), I absolutely adore her. She is funny and full of life. She loves adventure and has a freedom about her spirit that I struggle to find often. She wants to try everything and she has so much joy in her spirit.

We’ve been able to have a lot of really wonderful conversations in the last week. I’ve been introducing her to new food, places, ideas and helping her to get settled and established here.

Adventures at IKEA

She’s helped me to know my dad (corroborating a lot of the stories my brother has told me as I’m the one of us who didn’t really grow up with my father) and about her mom and their life in Yangon. She’s told me about her goals to become an artist/ animator and how these were not dreams that were affirmed and encouraged or really very possible at home for her.

And she’s helped me to realize that I really need to work less (which I knew, but now I’m actually taking steps towards doing) and appreciate my life more.

We’ve explored how life is similar and different here in the states, and things she needs to be aware of to be safe here. Today, we did a joint video call to our dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day. It is the first time in my life that I’ve spoken to my dad on Father’s Day. It was good to see him so happy. It was good to be able to truly feel peace about all of the missed Father’s Day in the past.

I’m so grateful to the community that helped support me as I was waiting for my sister  to arrive. The last week has been life-changing to me in so many ways and it has been a joy to see my sister adjust to our family like she’s always been in our lives. I feel blessed beyond measure and amazed that she’s only been here a week. (See pictures below w/ my little and big)

I am grateful for our shared humanity and love for one another that perhaps is beyond understanding. I am grateful for the perspectives my sister brings to my life. I am grateful for each moment. What a blessing to write this blog on my first week with my younger sister.

A Mother’s Heart: An Open Letter to My Sister’s Mother

A photo of a stuffed corgi on a sign that says Tsui Tsui, Welcome Sister

Dear Aye,

I know we don’t really speak the same language, but we are both mothers who love our children very much, and I am also a daughter separated from her mother at a young age, so I wanted to write to you because I love you and Tsui and because I hope that my words can help you to worry less, even though you will miss her very much. I am hoping someone will translate this letter for you into Burmese and that you will not lose much of the meaning in the translation.

I wanted to tell you how much I admire your courage and hers. It is a very scary thing to come to a new country from your home at such a young age, to a family that you have never met, to begin life in a very, very different place. It is also a scary thing to let  your daughter go to people who are strangers, connected by marriage and not blood, in the hopes that they will treat her like family, love and protect her, especially when you have been with her during her whole life, for all of her important moments.

I know that this is the best choice for right now, that Tsui would come while you stay near my father, but the best choice does not always mean the easy choice. I want to thank you for trusting us to help Tsui adjust to the United States. I promise to do my best to help her, to be a good big sister to her, to love her as I love my own children, to protect her as best I can, and to teach her what life is like here. We always welcome you. We hope one day you can come to be with her here or that she can come back to you there, in safety. If and when that time comes, I hope you know that we will support and help you too, however we can. You are our family too.

I know what it is to miss someone you love with your whole heart, who is, in many ways, an extension of yourself. I wish we could make this easier, but I don’t think we can make this part better. What we can do is share photos and messages and memories that Tsui will make here, be here for her, until you are together again. We will love her and treat her with care.

I hope we can meet you soon too. Until that time, we are holding you in our hearts.

I am holding you in my heart.

With love,


Finding Family, Fragility and Strength

Photo of three bunches of flowers in front of two gravestones Photo of blogger and her mother in front of flamingos when blogger was a child Photo of a girl smiling next to a unicorn jewelry box

I am ending this Mother’s Day weekend like my last post began, with reflection & amidst another wave of grief, one which is strong, but which I find easier to withstand.

Almost all the things I hoped for this Mother’s Day weekend happened as planned.

My sister made it safely out of Yangon, and is in the same city as her mother for Mother’s Day. She is in quarantine, but they will see one another soon, and she is safe. So they didn’t get to be together for Mother’s Day, but she is safely near her mother, and I am so grateful.

I visited the gravesite of my mother, grandmother and aunt.

I celebrated my daughter’s 6th birthday.

I rested, ate delicious food, woke up this morning sobbing, looked through boxes of photos, found so many pictures of my younger self and my mother and grandmother, laughed with my family, and gave myself space when I needed to.

I honored my full humanity.

I loved well and was present to so much love, from so many people, in a myriad of ways. My community has me even when it’s hard, and stands for and with me when I struggle to stand for better in my own life. I am so deeply grateful for the people in my life.

I am so deeply grateful to be so loved.

And I am still so deeply sad.

I suppose that I have learned over the last 26 years that, if I am honest, I will always end Mother’s Day with a heaviness in my heart.

I was loved so well and so completely by my mother and by my maternal grandmother that I still feel their absence every single year, even though I have lived the large majority of my years now without them.

And there is a hole in my heart that I speak of less often, being estranged from one of my own children and far from another.

And there is pain from having invited others to mother me and having had them turn away from me, in times of my greatest need.

And there are echoes of this abandonment, of my unworthiness and not being enough everywhere.

I have realized that humanity is not a zero sum game.

It is hard.

Even with so much love around me.

It is so hard.

But I am making space.

And holding space.

I am learning that honesty allows my chosen family to see what I often can’t and step in on my behalf when I can’t.

I am learning that in my fragility is also my strength.

In my hurt, in my heart, is also my hope.

It is hard.

I wish I could write away my sadness.

But I can only make space.

And hold space.

I can only mother myself, and trust those who choose me to support me in this journey.

It is so hard.

But I also know I am not alone in the struggle with this day, and in solidarity, there is also strength. In shared fragility, we become stronger. In our hurt, in our hearts, is also hope.

Tomorrow will not be Mother’s Day.

But I will still carry my humanity.

And I will still honor it, because it is the only way I can truly find a way beyond survival.

Gratitude in Grief – 100 days and 26 years

three bunches of flowers in front of two grave markers

I just want to pause to tell my community thank you.

It was an incredibly long day.

There was much emotion.

It was my daughter’s 100th day of kindergarten. The 100th day celebration was new to me when my son had it 9 years ago (and actually had it in both kindergarten and 1st grade, in Chinese and then in English, but I digress), but this time, we were prepared. In spite of 100 days of distance learning, her outstanding teacher put together a beautiful at-home celebration package including a Korean-English 100 days crown & a silicone 100 days bracelet. We added 100 go stones for our girl to count. She had a great day.

It was the 26th anniversary of my mom’s death today. Time was suspended 26 years ago, as my mom passed on a Friday when there was no school, giving me a full weekend of weird liminality before I went back to my normal life (I really don’t know what happened that weekend, where I slept, what I did). The day, I remember, but I remember its emptiness, rather than any fullness. I remember myself trying to record the memories of those moments in my mind because I knew I wouldn’t be the same after.

Today, however, was a day like many others — full of meetings: some I attended, some I led, some I engaged in, as if I was my whole self, today, which I am never really fully on this day of the year. Sometimes I pretend, like I did today, because my schedule is full and I could not avoid the normalcy. In better years (perhaps not in global pandemics), I give myself more grace and space. Today, my schedule was full, but in more moments than not, my heart was empty. I will likely not record any memories of today except that it is the 100 days celebration of my last baby and it fell on the anniversary of my mother’s death.

What I am grateful for, however, is the space to speak my truth, and the openness to receive love of those who walk alongside me in love and in grief.

This morning, already exhausted, I posted on Twitter about the emotions of today. I immediately received many messages of love and solidarity. Throughout the day, friends texted and messaged me to check on me, offering to talk if I needed anything. My husband ordered me food although I did not feel like eating. My children made me laugh. In one of my many meetings, I reconnected with a former credential student who it was a joy to hear from again. I got to participate in a community chat that reminded me to reclaim my leadership even in moments of vulnerability.

There are sparks of joy in the sorrow.

February 3 is never easy for me.

It is always heavy, and usually hard.

But it reminds me of the deep roots that cannot be breached by death, roots of love and of ancestry, of strength of character and survival, of freedom and faith, of community and support.

So I end today sad, as is to be expected, but grounded in gratitude, and buoyed by love. My mother’s love, my family’s love, my community’s love.

Grief & Love

My mother and me as a toddler wearing a birthday hat

Grief is so hard.

It comes out of nowhere and seems to be everywhere all at once.

I had a beautiful, wonderful day.

And then, it crept in.

Slowly at first, through inklings of self-doubt.

Then a bit more steadily, like a fog determined to roll in.

And now, it is here.

With me.


Sitting in my heart as I watch my sweet little girl coloring a rainbow.

Sitting in my throat, a stifled flood.

It’s been so long.

26 years on Wednesday.

But my love is deep.

And my grief is fed by the depth of that love.

It is here.

With me.

Sitting in my heart as I watch my sweet little girl coloring a rainbow.

Sitting in my heart as I watch my husband help my son take apart a pen and put it back together.

I wonder if they can take apart my heart and put it back together as easily.

Sitting in my throat, a stifled flood.

Spilling over, running down my face.

It’s been so long.

My love is deep.

It will sustain me.

But grief is so hard.

Spaghetti sauce…a grief story

I made it until 5:45 pm today before I broke down into an ugly cry.

The culprits: a jar of spaghetti sauce, a long line at Target and a broken hand scanner…

When put upon a long day, a rush to try to keep it all normal, a near-empty gas tank in the morning, a teenager who thought he needed some things for a project that he didn’t and who answers every text with “Ok.”

When put upon grief.

My friend, Grief, is a shape shifter.  But what I know is, when Grief comes, Grief wants all my attention or at least all of my energy.

To get through my day, I go on autopilot.  I can have things on my schedule, but my schedule becomes rigid and I become laser-focused.  I just have to get through the day and it will be over.

Just get through the day.

So when my husband texted me to ask if I could pick up some spaghetti sauce on the way home (when what I really wanted to was to go to the sushi happy hour next to the cafe where I was working) because it was spaghetti night, we’re on an austerity budget right now and we were nearly out of sauce, I felt just some kinda way.

But, because I’m me, I said that it was no problem.  We’d already left our parking space next to sushi and had JUST passed a Target.  There was another one on the way home.

We were almost there when my son told me he needed gears for a science project.  This is the second time in two weeks that, at the last minute, he has surprised me with a need for said “group science project.”

We go in and split up. I get things for dinner. My son doesn’t find gears. We get in line.

There are 2 open check stands and 3 open self-checks.  I hate self-checks. I believe in keeping people employed.

But I am about to lose my cool. I can feel it.

Finally, a self-check opens. I scan our things.

The hand scanner that will allow me to pay on my Target wallet is broken. I don’t have my Target card.

I paid full price at Target (this is an insult to my dignity).  I didn’t even get the 1% back from Target circle because I didn’t enter my phone number. I was so thrown off by this broken scanner.

Just get home. Just get home.

I knew when I got home, I would only have an hour to eat and get to choir practice.

I got home.  I walked briskly to my room.

I started sobbing.

I hear through the door the joyful exclamation of my son that, in fact, he didn’t need the gears he thought he needed.

I cry harder.

My husband comes home.  He has been barraged by at least 7 angry texts that are denouncing the insensitivity of putting this errand on me after being with me almost 20 years and knowing I am just trying to survive this day.  He tells me we didn’t really NEED the pasta sauce because there was just enough without it, but he knows I like the pasta with more sauce so he thought he’d ask me to pick it up.

He is sorry. I feel a mix of indignation, anger and regret because I am clear I am overreacting.

I cry harder.

Somewhere, about 30-45 minutes into the cry, I realize that I cannot eat and make it to choir practice. I cannot go to choir practice because if I begin to sing, I will cry.  I look at our song list and think of the songs and start to cry.

Oh, there is so much ugly crying.

I have used a half box of tissue by now (but at least they are lotion tissue).

I text the section leader chain on my text messages. I tell them I can’t make it. The music director asks if I need prayer.  I say yes.  The wave of grief is upon me. It is knocking me down.  I feel like I can’t get up. (I don’t exactly say this, but this is how, in actuality, I am feeling)

I don’t want to go to school tomorrow. I don’t want to do any of the million things I need to do. I just want to cry and feel sorry for myself and make everyone take care of themselves.

My husband texts from the kitchen to see if I want a salad.

Yes, I say, but I’ll come out when I’m ready. Don’t bring it in here.

I don’t want to see them until I’m more ready.

It takes a few more minutes, but then, I breathe. I come out of the room.

My son says he’s sorry.  He doesn’t have that much to be sorry for…just poor timing.  He nods.  He gets it.

My 4-year old who just yesterday would not stop asking for her father, comes up to me and offers me a picture with three hearts that says “Jojo loves Mommy.” She tells me that she didn’t know grown ups could have bad days too.  She tells me I can take the picture to my office so that when I’m sad, I can remember that the family loves me.

I start to get teary again.  I cry some more.  I tell my daughter I need to get some tissue, which I do. My husband is still making the salad.

We make it through dinner. We play a family game.

I breathe.

They leave for a dog walk.

I get a few things done for work.

It is time for my little one to sleep. I tuck her in and wait with her while she falls asleep.

I begin writing.

My son comes out to say goodnight.

My husband draws a bath for me.

My friends check up on me one last time.

Many people I love have sent texts and messages throughout the day.

People keep checking in and sending love.

I feel the prayers covering me.

Grief is still hanging around, but comfortable now in the space.

It is time to disconnect. It is time to sleep.

It is time to make space for tomorrow.


The picture I found waiting for me when I arrived home on Saturday

Life is about ebb and flow.

For me, there is a constant push and pull between exhaustion and exhilaration; sorrow and joy; absence and presence; feeling competent and impostor syndrome.

All of the things.

But, this weekend, there was joy in recovering.

I got some things done this weekend. I often wish I could say that I didn’t work at all over the weekend, but I honestly probably wouldn’t feel good on any weekend where I didn’t work at all. Part of my passion lies in work-related life, educating, responding to students, answering messages from colleagues, preparing for the week ahead so it feels less frantic.

But I also got some other things done. I slept a lot. I spent time with my kids. I went grocery shopping with my husband and daughter. I cooked dinner tonight for the first time in so long (salmon, roasted potatoes and green beans). I watched junk television (I love junk television so much, mostly competitive reality shows like The Voice and Worst Cooks in America). I sang at church then went home to spend more time with my family. I ate well. It was lovely.

It was not a “perfect” weekend.  I am still not 100%. I still could use some rest.

But there were moments of joy in this weekend.  There were moments where I did the best I could and it wasn’t the greatest, but it was what it was, and I was okay with that.

This weekend was progress and growth, it was the flow of the ebb and flow.  It was love and it was joy.  It was moments of simplicity in the complexity of the everyday.

And for that, I am so grateful.

But, PS. If you see me in real life, I could use support in remembering the simple, the present and the joy in the midst of all-too-busy life.  Please and thank you.


The First Day of Chinese School

It’s the first day of Chinese school and we’re fine…really, we’re fine….

Those of you who either know me IRL or have been following this blog for awhile may remember that last year, I started a journey towards actively reclaiming my cultural and linguistic identity, part of which included reconnecting with people who were close to my mother, who I lost when I was 16, and part of which included starting a second bachelor’s degree in Chinese studies and taking my very first Chinese class (ever) last semester. I’ve also been doing research on Asian American teachers and their experiences, which has helped me to feel less alone as I think about my own journey as a second-generation Taiwanese American daughter, secondary teacher, mom and heritage language learner.

Today, my son started his ninth year of learning Mandarin, in one form or another. He began in a 90/10 Mandarin immersion program in Kindergarten, then a year of 5 day a week, after school  heritage classes when we moved for my university position, then 3 years of 50/50 immersion, and for the last 4 years, back to weekend heritage school.  He is awesome, which you also know if you’ve been following my Mandarin learning journey, since he’s been my main tutor and language support (I repay him by helping him with more complex English grammar rules for his essays).  He was nervous today, but also, fine.  It’s all part of the routine he’s used to during the school year.

Arguably, I am always more nervous before the start of a new Chinese school year than he is. The last four years, I have dreaded the first day of Chinese school.  He attends a weekend heritage school which is sponsored by a Taiwanese Buddhist humanitarian organization.  The volunteer staff and teachers are super nice.  The parents are kind and explain things in English to me when I don’t understand a thing.  My son consistently does well in class, and has the same classmates each year so they’re (sort of) a community of (reluctant) learners.

However, I always feel a mix of shame, guilt, sadness, and confusion.  I always worry that the parents are secretly judging me behind their kind smiles.  I always worry that because I don’t know what is being said at orientation that my son is going to miss out on important information that he needs to be successful.  I always worry that this year will be the year that his lack of a Mandarin-fluent parent will mean that he will fail his class and hate his language and culture.

I know, I know…projecting much?

My son, on the way to school, tells me not to worry about it.  He says I’m fine.  He says that I know plenty of Mandarin and that he’ll be fine. He’s a little nervous because he’s always a little nervous on the first day of class, but he’s sure it will be fine.

He finds his class, talks with his friends, and we proceed to class and parent orientation.

I understand about 50% of the presentation, which is actually WAY more than I’ve ever understood and I recognize a bunch of characters that remind me that I really should review my Chinese 101 flashcard before I start class next week.  Another parent saves me (because my Chinese still isn’t that great) from being room parent. I use my Mandarin to ask about my son’s canceled elective class (and fill out the withdraw request in English).

After the meeting, I drive across town to the Korean grocery story to buy food for lunch and dinner, and various Asian snacks (because I buy food when I feel stressed, guilty and want to show my son love), then go back to pick him up.  We both like his teacher a lot.  We got about the same amount from the orientation and generally agree on the information that we heard.  He’s excited because he can read the information in Korean on the snacks (he just started Korean classes a few weeks ago at his “regular”). He tells me about the first “quiz” that the teacher gave.  He got a 90%.  It’s above the mean so he’s satisfied.

So, we made it.  I mean, he was fine the whole time, but I made it. We’re going to learn a lot of Chinese this year, both of us, I think.  And maybe we’ll start to doubt ourselves a little less and trust ourselves a little more in the process.  I hope so.

Coming Together

Tonight, my son and I did our Chinese homework together.

We both had similar exercises, with his characters more complex than mine, but with my repetitions more numerous than his.  He corrected my pronunciation, but I didn’t mind as much as I did a few months ago because I could hear the difference between what I was saying and what he was saying.  It’s still hard for me to say the words correctly, but learning to hear the difference is a big first step.

I’m learning vocabulary that he’s learned and forgotten, but is remembering as I pick it up for the first time.  He scans his homework for characters or phrases I might know, pointing out the differences between traditional and simplified, between how I’m learning to pronounce things and how they’d be pronounced in Taiwan.  He’s reading me his homework and figuring out what to do through trying to explain it to me.

We are learning Chinese, in parallel, together.

He is teaching me many things — pronunciation, patience, vocabulary, radicals.

He is learning from me other things — patience, perseverance, dedication, neatness.

I feel like the luckiest mom in the world when he says to me, “Hey Mom, let’s do our Chinese homework together.” My 13-year old wants to do something with me, and not just any something, but Chinese homework — the most dreaded of homework activities for him.

While he’s working, he tells me stories of his experiences, when he learned the characters I’m learning (Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd or 3rd grade), what it was like coming into a new Chinese school when we first moved to Southern California, how he doesn’t really understand why he’s learning some of the vocabulary he’s learning that he doesn’t really think will be useful in everyday life.  They’re good stories and good questions.  I don’t have answers, but he’s not really looking for them.  Somehow he knows that even if he never uses that random character he’s learning, that this is important to me and to us, and so he diligently does his work; we do our work; together.

Then he’s done.  He goes back to Youtube.  I go to tuck in his sister, and come back to work on reviewing an action research proposal that one of my students has written, for a conference we’ll have tomorrow afternoon, and then begin on this blog.

I am grateful.

I am learning.

Things are coming together.

We are coming together.