By the time I came back, my niece and my nephew are four years older than when I saw them last in 2015.
The adults don’t change that much. Just more wrinkles, more white hair and a few more pounds here and there. But for kids, the change is huge. My niece is now 13. My nephew is 15. The two of them can’t be more different.
- Niece: working-class; public school free-style education.
- Nephew: middle-class; private school; tiger-mom education.
Within our household, we prefer the girl. She is just a bundle of joy, like Olive in Miss Little Sunshine. My nephew? He is a straight-A student, so shy and neurotic that he still hides behind his mom in public.
I wonder how they would be like in ten years, in twenty years. When they are real adults, what kind of career paths they would choose, what kind of life they would choose for themselves.
I imagine my niece would visit me in LA after I’m back. I would show her around my second home, take her to a Lakers game, and count the stars on Hollywood Walk of Fame…
When her family visited us this afternoon, my niece asked, “auntie (I still have trouble recognizing that term…), how do you give a good improv speech in public?” I wish I had more time with her to tell her what I told my students, the opening, the twists and turns, the punchline, and the ending. But I can’t. I had to go back and work on my next week’s notes. And their visit was cut short.
Witnessing the next generation in the making is a blessing. Being able to shape them in any small way is a privilege.