We all had a great time watching the Olympics, especially so with the games in China. The girls loved it when the TV showed places in China that we'd been to.
About the third day of the games, Zoe had a question for me: "Mama, when the U.S. and France are competing, who will you cheer for?" (My mom is from France). She didn't ask who she should cheer for when China and the U.S. competed, but I figured that was really the gist of her question.
The question is really difficult in many ways. I remember attending a lecture by Iris Chang, the author of The Chinese in America and The Rape of Nanking, not long before her tragic suicide (I feel fortunate to have met her and to have her autograph The Chinese in America for Zoe). One of the things she talked about was growing up Chinese in America. She specifically mentioned being asked the question -- "Will you cheer for the U.S. or China in the Olympics?" -- and her feeling that people never saw her as American enough. (BTW, I recommend highly The Chinese in America -- very informative and very well written. I think China adoptive parents sometime emphasize culture in China to the detriment of teaching our kids about the Chinese immigrant experience and the history of Chinese in America.)
Still, in answering Zoe's question, I went for diplomacy: "Well, I think I'll cheer for both of them to do their best, and then cheer loudly for whoever wins."
That seemed to satisfy her, and she cheered lustily for the U.S. and for China throughout the Olympics. She was especially thrilled with Nastia Liukin's all-around gold medal in gymnastics, and wants to go to the parade to be held in Liukin's honor this weekend (oh, joy!).
4 weeks ago