I was making a salad the other night - but NOT for one little girl who hails from another continent on the other side of the world. Molly. It's not on her "like" list -- but you can't blame her. It ain't an Asian dish.
As I've stated before, I did not choose sheep entrails on the breakfast buffet at the 5 star hotel where I stayed in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia - China.
Can't blame me.
It's not American fare.
Anyhoo, western-ized Emily will n-o-w eat salad with a smidgen of Ranch dressing on it.
But this is not about the actual salad, per se.
I was putting all the ingredients out on the counter, and as I reached into the pantry, it just sorta tripped off my tongue, "Ah. What is life without croutons?"
I said, "Maybe I could write a book and that would be the title."
A few other phrases and sentences have been tripping off the ole tongue lately:
Molly, buckle your seat belt. Seat belt, Molly. See this? It's a seat belt.
Emily -- help her with the seat belt, please. Yes. That, Molly. Buckle that. It's a seat belt. See the buckle? Buckle it, please. Thank you, sweetie.
That little set of words could be interchanged to focus on ANY subject imaginable.
Just insert as needed:
Molly, get your backpack. Backpack, Molly. See this? It's a backpack.
Emily - help her with her backpack, please. Yes. That, Molly. Get that. It's a backpack. See the zippers?
Unzip it, please. Thank you, sweetie.
Cracks me up.
I'm soooo well aware of this lingo song and dance because this is Chinese adoption of adorable daughter #2 for me.
I remember when I had to learn to speak like this with Emily....honestly....at the end of the day, she and I both were worn slap out.
This time, I've got a reserve bank to draw from mentally. I know the drill. I'm doing fine (....Uhm...I think I am....)
It's Miss Molly's time to be worn slap out, though, because learning another language is tough.
But even tougher is trying to communicate - not the simple things - but the intangibles: feelings, thoughts, concerns, uncertainties.
We've (our family) had a handful of folks talk to Molly in Chinese, and we always ask her - via our Mandarin speaking expert at that moment - What is it she NEEDS for us to know??? HER needs are impt. Critical.
We convey our thoughts to her as to how proud we all are of her of how much we love her.
It's always a good time of 'being understood'.
There is a little girl in the 4th grade at our school who talks with Molly on a regular basis. This is good chatter and also a time to - once again - communicate, to be heard. The little girl is so sweet to translate for Molly and me, too.
Emily and Molly have re-arranged the room and pushed the 2 single beds together.
This was decided at 9:15 on a school night, after being tucked in bed....their decision (mostly Emily's -- Molly politely follows suite). I helped and celebrated their creativity and willingness to see "things" in a different way - sort of a spur of the moment whim of 'togetherness'.
They've washed & rinsed the dishes together and helped pick out the week's groceries.
Both have played a mean game of hide-n-seek. I've NOT perceived how they could be so well hidden (see photo above)
The girls have run up and down the street (by going thru the yards) to Nanny Carol's -- 5 houses away.
They've folded their clothes and put them away.
They've Barbied together, made bookmarks, attended a b'day party, enjoyed Friday nights as Family Night & Chinese food eatin' time, painted real pictures on canvas, written in Chinese and English in chalk....on the garage floor, held hands to pray, and done the everyday small things of which life is made.
As the popular praise song goes, "10,000 Reasons for my Heart to Sing....Bless the Lord, O My Soul..."