These sweet dear teachers that I mentioned in the most recent post were all from the Inner Mongolian region. My third year in China, I finally had a chance to make it up north to visit them. They of course stole my heart again.
Since I had last seen them two years earlier, they had been through some exciting and tragic life events. Two of my closest teacher friends, Tracy and Kelly, had each given birth to beautiful little babies. Kelly's little boy had lived. Tracy's little baby had not. I remember visiting Tracy in her home...a modern apartment with great natural lighting and big windows. Yet there was a sadness that lurked there. Tracy talked about wanting to move to a new apartment because the current one had too many painful memories. Memories of her little baby girl living there for a few months before leaving them. Tracy wanted to start fresh in a new place.
Kelly's home was on the 6th floor of an apartment. It was also very modern with her wedding photos framed in over-sized prints on her walls. I had a guest-room with a lovely little bed and windows that opened to let in the breeze. Her son's toys were lying all around the apartment, but he was seldom with us as he often stayed with Kelly's parents...a common child-rearing practice in China. One day, however, we did take her son out on a little bike ride to a nearby park. Her son rode in the child's seat on the back of the bike. I had the privilege of carrying him on my bike for awhile...not as easy as one might think.
My time in Baotou was spent with my former students and their lovely families. I miss these teacher friends. I wish that I could transport back to Inner Mongolia for a week-end and visit them again. I have heard news that Tracy has since had another little baby (he is about 2 years old now), and Kelly's son is about seven years old. How time flies.