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Toddler Houdini at Bedtime

Several months ago, I was alone for the week with only my son because my husband and his mom took our daughter on a vacation to Sanya (三亚, Southern Chinese paradise). The resulting restfulness I felt–having only one child at home–was significant. I found myself able to get more work done and found a rhythm with my toddler (he had…   …read more.

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Grounded in Toronto: AGAIN

It is not surprising that the Chinese bureaucracy is confusing. Even Chinese people express this, acknowledging that paperwork issues are enough to “grow your head,” (让你头大了) which is the literal translation of an expression used to convey the feeling of your head about to explode. Two years ago, when my son was a newborn and we were returning to China…   …read more.

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Queer Girl Gets DIVORCED!

We are sitting in a small office in a nondescript socialist-style office building on the 10th floor. It’s the same office building in which we got our marriage license exactly 9.5 years ago. (That’s as long as I was with my ex-girlfriend, by the way, but that’s another story.) The leather couch, shiny red-wood coffee table and beige filing cabinets…   …read more.

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Post-Divorce-Blog-FAQ

After my last blog, I received so many messages and emails (yes, some still use that format!) and I’m sorry that I just couldn’t get back to anyone in a timely manner. I’m a single mom! Life gets hectic. The most commonly asked questions were these: So when (or) are you moving back to Canada? What happened with your in-laws?…   …read more.

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Final Thought: Nov Update 2019

*This piece was also published in the Nov 2019 issue of Beijing Kids Magazine* ~ “Mommy, why don’t you take videos of us?” This is my son, skateboard tucked up under one arm in our compound’s courtyard, a look of curious judgment on his nearly-six-year-old face. His helmet is askew. His knees and elbows are bulging with protector pads, wispy…   …read more.

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Home For Christmas

I’m sitting alone at a table in a nearly deserted restaurant in a mall on Christmas Eve Day watching my kids play in a play area designed for toddlers. They’re innovating the toys and being too loud, but there’s almost no one here and I’m just watching them with an absence much like misty nostalgia, which is really just a…   …read more.

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Corona Update from Beijing

Jan 31st, 2020 I have received so many worried messages from friends that I thought perhaps a proper blog was in order. I’ll give you a glimpse of my life here in Beijing especially now that the Corona Virus (capital letters intentional) has taken over as the omnipotent leader to whom all must bow… Okay, there it is. My opinion…   …read more.

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Corona Update #2 from Beijing

Last night, I felt like I had been infected… …by the panic. I started to sweat. I started to wonder what chaos is on its way and what it’s going to look like. The virus is coming for us. There’s a wave about to fold over Beijing and we will be trapped here under it, suffocating. How do I get…   …read more.

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Corona Update #3 from Beijing

“Far from such din, when blessed silence returns, I can listen to the butterflies that flutter inside my head. To hear them, one must be calm and pay close attention, for their wingbeats are barely audible. Loud breathing is enough to drown them out. This is astonishing: my hearing does not improve, yet I hear them better and better. I…   …read more.

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10 Tips to Surviving the COVID-19 Crazy: From Beijing

1. Obsess About Numbers: Watch the stats every day and analyze how some charts and different from others, how most governments are controlling the numbers, and how freedom of information is a joke. Hyperventilate a little when certain benchmarks are exceeded, like the newly surpassed 100,000 global cases of this virus. Have several websites bookmarked so that you can compare…   …read more.

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