After dinner on our way home, El and I met a Chinese boy named Samuel on the train. Samuel (age 5) was sitting in front of us with his mum and dad and just giggling uncontrollably. He had such an addicting laugh, we couldn't help but start laughing, too. He was so happy and expressing himself in a way that I rarely see from children in Hong Kong. Not only was he having a good time, but his parents were engaging in his silliness as well, another unaccustomed sight. Typically children are buried into their video games and parents are ignoring them the same, but not this family. They had an intoxicating joy. They overheard our laughter and the mum looked at us and said, "Kids are crazy!!" We smiled and I asked him his name, eventually I asked Samuel what he did today. He whispered to his mum and then proudly proclaimed, "CHURCH!" This led to even more discussion once we shared with them that El was a pastor. We eventually parted ways once we arrived at their stop and they waved from the window outside as the train pulled away.
In one night I saw two incredible examples of families interacting with their children, one Western and one Asian. In all the hoopla of Western parenting vs. Asian style parenting stirred from this article and book, these two families regardless of culture, have one thing in common. They are Christians. I've always wondered how difficult it would be for El and I as parents. Ellison was raised in a fairly "Chinese" family and myself...well, I was taught "Just do your best!" The question about where we would send our children to school has often crossed my mind. I went to a small, country, public school in Texas and El, a posh British boarding school. Regardless, I now realize we at least have one thing in common...we follow Christ. Although we're not planning on having children anytime soon, we've been discussing our options for adoption. With Christ as the Head, eventually I know we'll make great parents (even if we are so different). We're very thankful for the excellent examples of Christian parenting we see throughout our community!! Thanks to you all!! I'm taking notes.