Sunday, April 4, 2010

Love, in exchange for being forgotten.

I've been trying to think of how to describe what I am thinking, but it keeps coming out wrong.
It's a crazy kind of love, to love an orphan. You pour your heart out to a child with no family; no dad to carry them on their back and no mom to read them bedtime stories or kiss their forehead when they're sick. You hold them when they're 2 months old, with such tiny hands they barely fit around your finger. You watch for their first smile, listen for their first word. You nervously prop them up to sit, lure them toward something shiny when they learn to crawl, and hold their hand while they learn to walk. You chase them and sing to them and read to them and make funny faces at them. You know where they are ticklish and which toy is their favorite. You start to love them like you would your own.
Then, just as it should be, they get to go home. And just as it should be, you feel like a piece of your heart leaves with them. Someone else will pick up where you left off and love them for the rest of their life. 
The hardest and greatest part is that they'll never know you existed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My apartment: the ultimate April Fools

So as you know, today is April first.. a day notorious for practical jokes ranging from the innocent "Hey! Your shoe's untied!" to the somewhat more intense "fly hundreds of tires into a dormant volcano and light them on fire so everyone thinks it is erupting and flee in panic." True story, by the way.

I managed to go through the day without falling victim to any major pranks, seeing as how many of the Chinese don't know about or participate in the festivities. I did, however, enlighten my students about the importance of the day and practiced some easy-to-do tricks with them so they wouldn't miss out.

The day ends without major incident.. that is, until my roommate steps out of our room to find a little surprise. Apparently, our shower (which as you might have heard, has NO stall or curtain and drains directly in the floor) overflowed under the bathroom door and proceeded to form a 2 foot-wide river traveling through the living room, under our couch, and across into a few inches of our bedroom. Luckily, it just missed the surge protector attached to ALL of our computers. We spent the next 20 minutes mopping, squeegying, and towel-drying. And singing "I've got a river of life flowing out of me."

Oh, China.