International Students, You Say? (aka Around the World in My Own Home)

In my home, as you know, I have 2 teenagers. Joy, unspeakable.

No, really.

They bring so much sunshine into our house that I practically have to wear sunglasses 24/7.

There’s New Girl #2 (NG2) from Germany. She’s 17.  She is an absolutely gorgeous girl who enjoys socializing, dancing, and is now taking tumbling lessons with the Baby Girl.  They have a ball together flipping upside down.  Yesterday, while I was in the Hen Pen, Baby Girl did a faceplant after  a backhand spring, and NG2 stopped what she was doing, and, like any good big sister, went over to make sure my Precious One was okay. None of the other girls in the class checked on my baby.  Just her “sister”.

When the two of them came out to tell me about it (I couldn’t see it because the nobility was blocking the window…click link above to the Hen Pen), the Baby was laughing and NG2 looked ashen, like she’d seen her own child go down.

Cue the tears.  Mine, not the Baby’s.  She jumped up laughing, as I said. Oy.

Me?  I wanted to hug NG2 and tell her I’d do her chores for the week.

I didn’t. But I wanted to.

Don’t get carried away, I say. Just wanting to counts for something, right?

Then, there’s New Girl #1. They are so numbered because #1’s been with us since August and #2’s only been here since January. NG1 is from Korea.  No, not the Communistic North, but South Korea, and land of democracy and the largest Christian church in the world. And the Suicide River.  And big oranges. Both (the river and the oranges) other posts for another time and both jokes, of course.  She is a senior and has lived in San Diego for 5 years now, during 2 of which I was her English teacher.

And she still wanted to live with me.


Can you imagine having me for a teacher?  You’d be in therapy for life!

She is a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, so we try not to tick her off.

She is amazing.  She has the uncanny ability to see what I need ahead of time, which makes her a great cooking partner.  I’ve taught her how to cook and bake (no ovens in Korea, so this was a new experience for her) because every good mother knows that, the sooner the kids learn how to cook, the sooner I can sit on the couch and eat Girl Scout cookies full-time.

I’m not saying I’m preparing for that now by buying up large quantities of Girl Scout cookies and storing them in my freezer.  I’m just saying it’s one option.

NG1 is 18; a senior. Yesterday, as we were grocery shopping (I marking my organized list and putting items in the cart; she manning the basket and the coupons), I stopped somewhere around the chicken noodle soup and asked her what I was going to do without her, since she’s going to college next year.  She just smiled the silent smile that is hers and watched me process.

The girls and I have a blast together.  At least I have a blast with them. If their constant laughing is any indication, they’re having a good time, too.

And the Baby Girl?  She gets the best of all.  Two sisters, both from different continents, sharing with her their flowing languages, their respective cultures, their sometimes gross but always graciously offered food, and their unwavering love.

Update 2/28/10: NG1 read this post and cracked up laughing! 🙂


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