The weekend before I left for Saudi, I took my daughters to the Taichung People's Park to fly the panda kite one last time before saying goodbye.
Picky-Picky, the cat, meowed through the basement door, asking to share the meal…’ - Ramona Forever, by Beverly Cleary
Believe me, these are very strange times. Lucky for me, I have some very strange people in my life.
“What?” she asked, laying down her fork as if she expected to be astounded by Ramona’s news…’ - Ramona Forever, by Beverly Cleary
I had a debt hanging over my head, a debt that had to be paid, and I waited patiently for this little window of time where leaving wouldn't be so traumatic.
- Ramona Forever, by Beverly Cleary
It was August, 2012 and the plan was to spend a year in the Saudi desert, but with the agreement that I could return at the EID holiday for a week in November. I was going to make enough money to pay off my debt and retire.
“He was in my class in high school.” “Oh yes, I remember. That boy with the blond curly hair who played baseball… all the girls said he was cute.”’ - Ramona Forever, by
But leaving was hard. A horrible decision. I second-guessed myself every day.
“He used to chew licorice and spit on the grass to make the principal think he was chewing tobacco like a professional baseball player, which was what he wanted to be.’ - Ramona Forever, by
So when I went out to fly the panda kite that day... tried to let it go to the wind.
“Playing baseball?”’ - Ramona Forever, by
I had been reading Berverly Cleary's Ramona Forever to my girls, stopping at this rich uncle, asking them to tell me three things they knew about him from the story. The girls laughed, saying funny names in books mean interesting characters in life, that boys that spit licorice mean born trouble-makers, and the aunt saying he was cute means she wants to meet him again, many years later to see if he still catches her eye. Yeah, I've taught these little inchworms well.
“I can’t remember the name, but it sounds like a fairy tale and has camels.” Narnia? Never-Never-Land? No, those names weren’t right. “
So we went out to fly the kite and say goodbye.
Maybe that's what we're always doing, saying hello and saying goodbye.