The visit with my in-laws went better than I had hoped. Each of my children spent quality time alone with each of their grandparents. They played games, built train tracks, told stories, sang songs, and learned new Chinese words. My father-in-law taught my daughter how to wrap spring rolls, and taught my son how to count to ten in Chinese.
(The finished product)
We also enjoyed “together time” through family outings to the zoo, roller skating rink, and art museum. All in all, I felt like we experienced a real “coming together” during their ten-day visit.
Our time together, however, was not without mishaps and miscommunications. There were minor kitchen disasters, sprained wrists, hurt feelings, and misunderstandings. And honestly, at one point, I wondered how we were going to end this visit on a positive note.
Then, somehow, we pulled through. The kids’ patience was renewed, and I found them having a dance party with Nainai. And when my in-laws were preparing to leave, my two-year-old son exclaimed indignantly, “But you can’t go!”
I learned from this visit that patience and grace will take you a long way in bicultural families. When my father-in-law (unknowingly) ruined one of my serving dishes and dyed all of the baozi neon green, I smiled at my husband and said, “Well, it could have been worse.” And when my mother-in-law insisted on going shopping for bedding for two hours on Black Friday (right before the doorbusters ended and the stores were swamped), I smiled and said, “Okay.”
I’m not trying to be the perfect daughter-in-law (believe me, it will never happen). It’s just that, after being in this family for ten years, I’m finally starting to understand that if I extend just a little more patience and understanding, it will go a long way in bringing us together as a family.
I want to know, what activities or outings bring your family together? When tensions rise and nerves start to fray, what brings you back to together?
Have a beautiful week!