Monday I had a very ugly, miserable day. The rain was pounding and the wind was blowing, making the commute almost unbearable. It’s hard to get a taxi on a nice day but on a rainy day, forget about it and it’s off to the subway I trudge. After walking 20 minutes in the downpour and dodging vehicles that want to run me down, and then three separate trains, I got to work soaked and sweating. One taxi was so aggressive that I finally had to turn my umbrella into a weapon and beat the hood of the taxi as it beared down on me. Pretty way to start the day!
I knew when I moved here that I would have to miss stuff back home but, truthfully I have been in denial. However, it all seemed to come together at once and hit me over the head with a brick on Monday-my Mom is sick and my sister is bearing the burden to take care of her so I’m a bad daughter; my daughter will be graduating from college this week and I’m so proud of her but we will not be able to attend the ceremony and then, the true kicker hit me that this will be the first Christmas EVER spent apart from this college graduated daughter, who is happily married and expecting a baby in May and so unable to travel to China like my son. So, not only am I feeling like a bad daughter but also a bad mother at the same time. Double whammy and bring on the tears.
Thank God it was dark as I made the final walk home from the subway, tears streaming down my face that I just could not stop after a thirteen hour day of work/commute and all that running through my subconscious. Expats have probably all experienced this type of day but, for me, it was my first one. I’m sure there will be others but today the sun finally came out, I miraculously got a taxi, making the morning commute easy, and then treated myself to banana bread and an Americano from Wagas. WOW!
We pick up our son from the airport this evening for his college winter break and his first trip to China. I just got Skype Premium so I could have unlimited calling to the U.S. to stay in touch with my family and we will live stream and toast my daughter as she walks across that stage at 1 a.m. Saturday (Shanghai time) and gets her college diploma. Yes, tears will be shed (as they are as I am writing this) but we will also be so very proud of her as she struts the stage in her bedezzled cap, carrying our first grandchild inside her. We find out on Christmas Day whether the baby is a boy or girl-stay tuned! What a lovely Christmas present that will be and, yes, tears of joy will once again flow but on this sunny day in Shanghai, I am smiling again. 🙂