Monday, January 24, 2011


We are supposed to leave for the US in exactly 4 days and the sickness looming over my home is threatening the very reality our trip. I am arguably on the mend after a good 10 days of uselessness. Phil is seemingly on the mend after his bought with what appears to be a simple head cold, and now Naaman has a fever.  Having one person sick in a household with children is like a game of dominos; we just wait to see who falls next. With twins it’s double whammy.  As much as I have tried- they share slobber in ways even the most cautious parent cannot control; and well, I am not the most cautious parent.

So I suppose the only real thing I can do is plan accordingly, move forward with packing, and see where the dominos fall…

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I have bloggers guilt. It's been exactly 1 month since I last posted and I feel nothing but shame. This happens more often than I would like to admit and on such occasions when life, holidays, or simply being the mother of twins takes me off my writing game; I fight the urge to apologize profusely upon my return. I attempt to pick up where I left off as if no time has lapsed, and continue on as if I have been writing every day.

But alas, I have not been writing every day- and here we are in the beginning of a new year. The holidays have passed, the Christmas tree is without its glittering adornments, and life is returning to its usual baby filled days. 

Winter in Shanghai is not conducive to outdoor activity with the kiddos, so I have been spending much of my time indoors with the little ones. As I write, Isaac and Naaman are in the other room with Miss Jane listening to their favorite CD- a mix of English and Chinese children’s songs. I never realized just how difficult it was to think straight, let alone write while such music plays in the background. "Why did you let it go? Because it bit my finger so. Which finger did it bite..." and so the song goes. Needless to say, the combination of baby chatter, children’s songs, and the overall lack of writing I have done to date is making it difficult to sort through my thoughts. 

This time of year is always a bit challenging for me though. The cold gray days keep people inside their homes, and the vibrant streets of the warmer months give way to a quieter less inhabited feeling city. My daily morning walks are on hold until the weather becomes more baby friendly, and I have been inside and largely surrounded with English speaking and feeling comforts in the meantime. I find myself less enamored with life in Shanghai and am feeling an intensified sense of home sickness.

Feeling home sick is nothing new to those of us who make our homes in foreign countries. It can be more intense at different times and for different reasons, but we usually pass through the mist and come out into the sunlight to appreciate life and the experience once again. This time things are different. I have lost patience and perspective with this city and many of the people around me. I'm not feeling the usual end- of-the- holiday’s home sickness so many of us experience, and I'm not simply in need of a trip home or a holiday away. There is something deeper in this mist, and I think it's time for a change.

I don't know what this change is and I'm not sure that I am ready for it, but I think it's around the corner. As the Chinese New Year approaches we are preparing to go home to the US to visit friends and family for a few weeks. Perhaps that will provide a little clearing of the mind and a dose of perspective…