You wanna go where?
For every child, no matter if that child is American, European, Asian, African, Indian, Martian whatever.
They always get to the point where they have big dreams, dreams are fine, but to make those dreams into a reality, they need to have a certain type of charisma. And the first step starts with convincing…..
So, I wanted to do something most blogs don’t do, I wanted to invite my parents to also do guest article, since they too, are on board “The Voyage.”
No one is above asking for help, especially from their parents, being independent doesn’t mean no help from your parents, so with out further ado, I would like to introduce my mom. She is what Chinese people would call “Muqin (traditional way to say mom in Chinese)” what Japanese people would call “mom-zilla(Godzilla pun),” what Koreans would call a “tiger mom (the type from the K-Dramas), and what I call, “the juggernaut.” She’s strong, makes things happen, controls 2 families at once with an iron fist both ours, and my fathers, and she can manage everything.
A concerned black mother is she, who lets her children, both me and my sister dream, and discover, but keeps us in reality. Here is her article, just a small part, of the adventure she had of her own, while her son was in Asia time and time again.
My adventure was abroad, her adventure was in her worries, and the stories I told her. But her adventures were, in a way, more grand than my own.
So my son came to me one day and told me he wanted to go to China. He had done some research and the study abroad program at his college has a program affiliated with a school in Shanghai, China.
Oh Hell NO!!
As I put my hands on my hips and rolled my neck and head around as only African American woman do when they mean business.
“You want to go half way around the world to take classes?”
“How much is this gonna cost?”
“Who is going to take care of you.”
“What are you going to eat? “What if you get sick?(My hospital misadventure in China)
As I yelled these crazy questions, I realized my son was nearly a grown man. In my mind he was still 10 years old.
I remember his first airplane experience by himself, he went to Florida and had to connect to another flight. When he got to the connecting flight, their system didn’t have his name in the computer. He called home and told us that he was in Atlanta, Georgia and that they didn’t have him in their computer. “What? My baby is stuck at the airport!!
Oh Hell No!!
I immediately put on my shoes and calculated in my mind how long it would take me to get to Georgia and handle this situation. My husband asked me where was I going? He took the phone from me and told his son to put the ticket agent on the phone. I yelled at him, as concerned wives and mothers do, “Your wasting time, we gotta go to Atlanta.” Of course they handled the error over the phone and everything turned out fine. After he got off the phone, my husband sat me down and told me in a deep man voice – “Our son is 16 years old, 6 feet tall and weighs 200 lbs. He is NOT a baby. Let him grow and learn the world. He is going to be fine.
“What? Fine? It is not Fine! (In my mind he was still 10 years old).”
After some convincing and showing me how Studying abroad will be an amazing learning experience, we let Daniel go to China. We did all the research, and was reassured that the program was safe and that he will have the experience of a life time!
Now, in my mind, he is still 10 years old and I’m packing his clothes like he is going to camp. My husband stopped me at the putting labels in his clothes point. He sat me down and told me in a deep man voice – “Our son is 20 years old, 6 feet tall and weighs 200 lbs. He is a grown man. Let him grow and learn the world. He is going to be fine
Of course, without my husband’s knowing, I slipped him some stuff, and read up on every piece of studying abroad life magazine, article, Internet forum, blogs that I could get my hands on.
I wanted to know who the head of police was, where the embassy was, where the black people hung out at, how they treated black people, because in my mind, and from my wallet, I refuse to think I’m going to spend all this money and send him to China to be a victim of some racism. Of course, I was ignorant of the Chinese as well, since he always reassured me of how accepting they were of him. Saves my husband’s money as well, because I was prepared to book a plane ticket to Shanghai at a moment’s notice.
During his time in China, we would call each other and talk like he was around the corner. He told me about his trips to the Great Wall in Beijing,
the Bund in Shanghai,
the West Lake in Hang Zhou,
and eating weird foods at the Snack Street in Beijing. We talked for hours. I was so amazed how mature he was.
Clubbing, partying, dancing, traveling…was this my boy? The one who was off-beat and step when he was playing and dancing in the marching band? He knows how to go clubbing and mixing?
Well alright there boy!
He was taking care of himself. He was just fine, just until the phone bill came in the mail, it was in an awfully thick envelope.
$1400 US dollars for that first month.
Oh Hell NO!!
The phone is getting shut off. I e-mailed my son and told him that AT&T has made me see that he is a grown man, 6 feet tall and would be fine. My husband shook his head, smiled and said in his deep man voice. Yeah – He will be fine!