How I Got Here (Mom Version)
This is Mom’s contribution to the story of How I Got Here from last week’s post.
Today I thanked Mom for the computer and microscope and telescope and the everything else I ever wanted with which to explore my interests. Our conversation then touched upon kids and their interests. “Kids should grow up happy,” Mom said, “which is why when I saw how Hong Kong schools were I told your Dad we had to go to America for you and Pauline to get a good education.” (And have a happy childhood.)
How were Hong Kong schools? The decent ones were all private, and hypercompetitive. I started K1 when I was 2 1/2 years old. They assigned homework, which I couldn’t do because I was too young to hold a pencil. Mom had to wrap her hand around mine to help me write.
She likened the Hong Kong education system to gavage. We moved here to save me from it.
Family Tree Grafts
My maternal grandfather is adopted. The term I’ve heard applied to that adoption is “tsup keuh fahn lai”, which roughly translates into “picked him up off the streets”. That’s all I know at the moment. I’ll have to find out more later.
Today, while talking about village life, Mom said, “Villages sometimes battled each other over land disputes. Your great-grandmother was actually stolen in a village battle. She grew up with a family she was given to.” I had no idea. Zero idea.
So basically I can trace my lineage on my mother’s side no further than my grandfather and my grandmother’s mother. Huh.
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I’m not sure why I’m paying so much attention to family history right now, but I’m glad I am. This stuff would get lost if my sister or I didn’t learn it and preserve it. Plus, it’s fascinating. If anything, I should have asked more about it before.
More questions on my next visit… at the end of next month. Penny is coming! Another chapter of family history will soon begin.