Chinese Eyes


Middle school is a hard world. I sent you off filled with excitement and apprehensions about lockers and combinations and teachers and lunch times and homework. But not the bus. You could hardly wait to ride the bus. Today, just three days into the new school year, you got off that bus, marched to the car and promptly burst into tears. I had to get you inside fast because that big, yellow bus came barreling down that skinny side street right at us. I was brusque and you were crying. My heart was breaking. ‘Chinese eyes’, you said. Two boys. Teasing. Trying to make you mad. Well, it worked. You were mad….and then your feelings were hurt.

This is a tremendous credit to the teachers of your elementary school. You were one of maybe three Asians, in a kid population that was 700 strong. That population was mostly Caucasians with a sprinkling of Hispanics, Blacks and Biracials. Interestingly enough , there were also handful of Russian adoptees. You are very proud of your heritage as a rule….as mixed up as it is. Russian but Asian. And this is the very first time you have ever had to deal with the ‘Chinese eyes’ issue. No doubt your middle school will have the same sort of reaction to bullying, intolerance and acceptance. Give them a chance.

But what about those ‘Chinese eyes’ of yours?

Those eyes have seen the landscapes of a very beautiful Tuva, Russia from hugely tall windows of an orphanage. They have seen the bustling city of Moscow from a taxi cab and an airplane. They have surveyed the sidewalks and wonders from Walt Disney World to Chicago, Illinois. They have camped and tramped through Kentucky, Tennessee and northern Michigan. They have squeezed shut in salty ocean water and opened to bleary focus in chlorine pools. They have blinked away dust in a horse stable and stung with the sweat of soccer practice. They have struggled to make sense of letters and words and numbers and angles. They have danced with the excitement of performing in a school play. They have widened with the thrill of being with your cousins and your aunts and your uncles and Grandparents….that huge family circle that you call your own. They have read signs and maps as we traveled without Dad. They have seen ‘Hannah Montana’ way too many times in one sitting. They have rolled in embarassment when your Mom insists on a kiss or a hug in your estimation of a ‘public place’. We have laughed at those pictures where your eyes are shut in the residue of a huge smile. “Open your eyes, for crying out loud!” I have to say with a laugh as I try for a retake.

And do you know what I like best about those ‘Chinese eyes’ of yours?

Those eyes never ever fail to see anything but the best in other people. They never ever fail to see a challenge and to set sights on achieving it. They never ever fail to soften when you encounter a puppy….or a horse….or a turtle in the road…or a person in need of comfort or help. They never ever fail to sparkle with life and light when something funny crosses your path. They never, ever fail to thrill me when I look into your beautiful face and realize that you belong to me.

‘Chinese eyes’ are my very favorites…and don’t you ever forget that.
I love you, kiddo…and don’t you ever forget that either.

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2 Comments on “Chinese Eyes”

  1. Andy Says:

    Hey Lyn!

    Oh that was so sweet you brought tears to my eyes!!! I loved every bit of it!!! She’s really lucky to have you as a mother!!! *hugs*

  2. Marymurtz Says:

    Perfect.


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