Dad's journey into retirement has been a lot smoother then I thought (other then him battling various bureaucratic offices daily to get his retirement paperwork straight). At first I was really worried he would just be BORED. As Mum is on a 3 week vacation with her sister to Greece, his being alone all the time had me doubly anxious (do you notice I worry a lot?). But so far, he says he doesn't miss the hour commute to and from work (he used to wake up at 4 am and work 10 hours a day to get Friday off). And he keeps busy attending to daily errands (getting the car battery changed, etc etc etc) and planning various trips to visit my sister in San Francisco. Still I wonder if he's annoyed that I call him every night...
"How are you dad? What did you do today? Are you doing okay? Are you sure? What did you eat today? Are you sure? Are you sure?"
Because I married an Irish-American boy, the kids are bi-racial (with hyphenated last names Chen-O'Shaughnessy clan in da hauz!!!! (not our actual surname, but similarly quite a mouthful)). As Daughter is now 11, I've wondered which "cultural side" she feels more comfortable with socially...the Asian side or the Caucasian side. Surprisingly, she hangs out with the Asian kids in her grade, and they are a tight knit group. I am the complete opposite...I feel more comfortable palling around with Caucasian people (mostly white males because I can boss them around and mock their manhood). Actually I prefer to be a hermit, but since Daughter is graced with way more social skills as compared to me back at that age (which I am extremely grateful for), she has a solid group of friends she can identify with.
"Do you feel like you fit in when we eat a Chinese restaurant?" she asked me the other day.
"Yes and no," I answered. "I used to care more speaking only Cantonese to the waiters in the restaurant, but now I don't really care as much. They speak English, so why not just order the food in English."
"Well you fit in more because you look Chinese," she said.
"Eh, it doesn't matter anymore, nobody cares about that stuff. You are just you here."
Still, it is interesting to discover her feelings about her bi-racial heritage.
BTW thank Jehosaphat for the Internet, I've decided I want to make it a lifetime goal to collect all of Stella Gibbon's
out of print books. She is best known for Cold Comfort Farm
(if you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for????). So hunting down various editions via ebay, amazon etc is quite exciting and fun as I get to interface with booksellers as far as the UK...that is like so cool!!!! I know, I'm easily amused.