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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Needing to W.I.S.E. Up!

Last Thursday my friend Canuck K called me on her cell phone. The first words out of her mouth: "Please let me vent," which is never a good sign! I knew right away something really bad had set off my even-tempered friend. Of course I said yes, and so began the story.

Some background: Canuck K and her husband adopted their girls from China in 2005. The girls are the Tongginator's closest friends. Cinnamon and Spice are four, and have lived with their forever parents for just over three years. Canuck K and her family live in the next county over from us. It's only about a thirty minute drive, but, oh, the difference. Their county is very diverse, multicultural, tolerant, etc. Our county is ... well ... not.

Canuck K needed to run some quick errands. She stopped off in one of her bank's branch offices ... in our county, not hers. Here follows a conversation between her and a complete stranger, who quite definitely resides in our county rather than hers:

: "Are these your girls?"

CANUCK K (smiling): "Yes."

WOMAN: "Are they twins?"

CANUCK K (still smiling): "Yes, they are."

WOMAN: "Are they from China?"

CANUCK K (no longer smiling, but still feeling pleasant)
: "They were born in China, yes."

WOMAN (absolutely amazed): "They speak English so well."

Grrrr... I didn't feel shocked when Canuck K shared this story with me, but she still did. She told me, "I didn't know what to do. I know you deal with this more often. I guess what happens to me once a year happens to you at least once a month."

She is right. It does happen often enough that I categorize it as happening monthly rather than yearly. There are lots of pluses to living in our county, but this is not one of them. I typically drive the Tongginator to their county; they rarely come to visit us. This is why.

I told Canuck K about an excellent workbook I have seen, that I keep meaning to order with my next big on-line book purchase. It's called "The W.I.S.E. Up! Powerbook" and is designed to help children, ages four through ten, and their parents deal with situations just like this one.

We continued chatting, and I hope I helped her feel a little better. But, really, what can one say? There are no words to excuse Stupid.


Janet said...

Dear me. That almost makes me laugh, it's so stupid. Um...yes, they were BORN in China, but WE DON'T SPEAK CHINESE TO THEM!!!! I hope she had an extra foot to put in her mouth.....:-)