We share a Chinese tutor with the girls' friends M. & M. They give the tutor, Lucy, a ride to their house and we meet there, and then we give Lucy a ride home. The girls really like Lucy, and show off for her by singing songs in Chinese the whole drive. I enjoy talking with her because she's very funny and I learn a lot about her life in China and her impressions of life in the U.S. She's trying to find a home for a stray cat she and her husband took in, and her best sales pitch includes the fact that the cat speaks Chinese! She and her husband came to the U.S. for his studies, and they are pretty young.
Lucy has always asked us to just drop her at the entrance to her apartment complex instead of driving her in to her apartment. But this Thursday it was so cold and so dark, I insisted on driving her directly to her building.
After we dropped her off, Zoe said to me, "It's like she's our older sister! She's Chinese like us and you said 'it's too cold and dark' just like she's our sister, like maybe she's in college and has her own apartment."
I had to laugh and say, "No, I'm just bossy!"
But the immediacy of Zoe's connection to sisterhood struck me, an affirmation of the importance of knowing adult Chinese as the Evan B. Donaldson report says.