Last week’s post on adoption got me rethinking some of my family’s experiences. Here’s a story we put in a newsletter three years ago. One of our sons is Taiwanese and had been in our Taipei home for a couple years, long enough to become a part of the culture within our walls.
Our youngest son has recently started preschool in the mornings. The main goal is to help him understand and speak more Chinese. After his first day, the teacher told my wife that he was hugging the other children—and they didn’t know how to respond. The teacher said that she explained to them, “It’s OK, he’s a foreigner. They hug a lot at his house.”
As he learns more about himself and the world around him, we have more opportunities to talk with him about “who he is.” While we were out one day last month, he saw a sign showing Chinese chess pieces. He asked why they had letters on them. I told him that they weren’t letters, they were Chinese characters. Seeing an opportunity, I asked him, “Are you Chinese?”
He said, “No.”
“Are you American?”
“What are you?” I asked.
“I’m normal,” he said.
[photo: “Parachute Fun,” by Chris Pawluk, used under a Creative Commons license]
4 thoughts on “Preschooler Lessons in Taiwan”
Love these two stories, Craig! I have never forgotten them since previously reading them in your newsletter and have even shared (told) them to family and friends!
Thanks, Sara. We’re never too old to learn from a preschooler.
I wish I could be normal :P
Abnormal has its benefits, too.