Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The House Where Baba Was Born

My husband, many moons ago, was born in a small village in inner China.  As often as we can, usually on Chinese New Year, we try to go back to that village to show our kids where Dad has come from, how hard we have worked to give them a very different life, and how blessed our family really is.

On this particular ocassion, the visit was a bit different though, as we learned that his childhood home had recently collapsed. Don't get me wrong---it was by no means "live-able" prior to its collapse, and hadn't been for a long time, but at least it was standing.  Now, it's not--- and that marks the end of an era.

So, the question we need to ponder now is whether or not to rebuild it.  We don't have to decide right away, but it's an interesting thing to consider.  Do we need a house in village number 2 in Hubei?  No, certainly not.  But would I like to honor the place my husband was born and make sure a Qian family house stands there as long as possible?  Most definitely.

We shall see.  For now, it has opened up some very interesting lines of communication between our children and William and I.  Why do some people live in villages and other people live in big houses in Guangzhou?  Why do some people have cars?  Why do some people wash their clothes in the pond while we have a washing machine?  How did Baba go from being a little boy in village number 2 to being...the man we see today?  Okay, that last one is my own question, but it's a good one nonetheless.

Chinese New Year, which we just celebrated in the village, is a time for reflection, renewal, and family.  It's a time to honor our ancestors and acknowlege where we have come from, and to think about where we are going.  I, for one, am profoundly grateful that I had the chance to celebrate this holiday in the place where my husband was born.

Here's to "rebuilding" anything in our lives that needs repair.  Happy Chinese New Year!! 

We had such a fantastic time on our recent trip to Utah.  Our kids have grown up in sub-tropical Guangzhou, so the concept of autumn w...