Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Meet the newest member of our family

Sometimes my kids surprise and unnerve me, at the same time.

Part of my job is to go around the state to visit non-profit organizations that are committed to racial and economic justice. Last week I was in the Chinatown neighborhood of our capital city. I spent an hour with a community activist hearing about affordable housing, economic development and neighborhood history. It was an awesome tour. It would have been a bit more enjoyable if it wasn't a windy 20 degrees but the weather wasn't his fault.

My current shoulder bag/purse is made of, yes, red Chinese silk with gold dragons and flowers. My host nearly fell over when he first saw it. He explained the symbolism of the color red, dragons, roses and other images in Chinese culture.

At around the same time last week I was freezing walking around Chinatown, one of my sons went with his class to the school "holiday shop". A PTO fundraiser, nothing is terribly expensive and it sounds like the "high end" section was all priced at a dollar a piece with most items costing a quarter or fifty cents. The kids are encouraged to bring a couple of dollars from home to buy holiday presents for family members.

As I was picking the boys up from after-school care I was informed by the guy who did his shopping today that he had something for me for my birthday (which turned out to be huge cubic ziconias earrings - so cute!) and a present for his little sister. What should he pull out of his white plastic bag but a toy panda dressed in a red silk top.

I'm trying to get the kids to call her xióng māo which is panda in Chinese (it literally means "large bear cat"). It is pronounced "shee-ong mow" and a big thanks to Jenn formerly of China for patiently explaining, via email, how to pronounce panda.

And I'm still floored. Did he sense I was walking in Chinatown?


Mariposa said...

Soccer Mom went to Chinatown eh?! You have thoughtful kids and an additional cute member of the family! ;)

Goofball said...

Yes he clearly felt it. All of chinatown was full of Allison vibrations :)

painted maypole said...


MQ is doing the shopping thing, although her high end price is $5!

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

very cool!!!

Jenn in Holland said...

Oh, I love your new baby!
How very thoughtful and yes, insightful of your kids.

Nap Warden said...

Wow, how cool!

Wholly Burble said...

They can cut the umbilical cord, but that doesn't sever the connection ;-)

Sweet new addition--hope the name sticks.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I love those in synch moments. And the panda is adorable.

Jan said...

I love Pandas and yours is adorable. A beautiful gift.


Jenn said...

What are they calling him these days?