Yesterday (Saturday the 28th) was Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), J.’s first in America with an American family. We did our best to mark the occasion well, but we couldn’t quite meet our young man’s expectations of what the holiday should be. For example, we are unwilling to do firecrackers since they’re illegal here, and we made the amount that went into the traditional red money envelopes for children fit our budget rather than our young man’s desires. I imagine the hardest part, though, is being away from the friends he’s always known and the culture he’s been a part of on this most important Chinese holiday. Having spent Christmases in China, where nobody quite understood what the holiday was about, and even friends’ most well-intentioned efforts to make it special for me often served only to remind me how far I was from home, I have a sense for how hard this must be. Though J. got quite upset with us a couple of times during the day, he handled his anger more appropriately than he sometimes does. And I think he did manage to have a few fun moments in the day. He at least seemed to enjoy playing soccer with his cousins. (And B. and K. for a couple of minutes–though they didn’t enjoy it much. They’re not fond of soccer.)
So, all in all, we had a decent celebration. Not, perhaps, quite what J. hoped for, but at least not disastrous.