Enter the Daddy

Jayna is friends with a girl in our neighborhood whose live-in grandmother is from China and speaks no English. Recently, I walked Jayna over to their house so that she could ask if her friend was able to come out and play.

“Hi,” I said when the grandmother appeared at the screen door. She smiled and made a couple of sounds and gestures that I took to mean that Jayna’s friend was not at home. “Oh, she’s not home? Okay,” I said. The grandmother then made a couple more brief sounds and gestures that I took to mean that she wanted us to check back later. “Okay, maybe we’ll try her again later,” I said. “Thank you!”

As we headed back to our house, my daughter took my hand, looked up at me, and in a positively awestruck tone said, “Daddy, you speak Chinese?

Yes, dear. Yes I do. And also? My kung fu is strong.

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