Monday, October 02, 2006
An All American Girl?
Last night the Muffin Man and I settled down to ride the couch and watch the Discovery Channel's special series on China, revealing it's past and possible future. It was well done, there is no doubt about that. It was surreal seeing some of the sights displayed in a large budget documentary when you were just there 3 weeks ago taking your very low budget film. Their pictures of Tiannamen Square did not have the immense green scaffolding or wholly innocent shots of some lady's rear end taken by a well intentioned four year old. The Forbidden City seemed well, more forbidden and mysterious when shot by the experts at the Discovery Channel. They showed no three year old boy peeing on the ground in his split pants.
When the section about making rice in the far Souther regions of China started I sat in awe. The narrarator explained that these people had been farming this same rice field for over 20 generations. "It was in their blood, their destiny their ancestry", he explained." I couldn't help but to think of my little girl in the dirty soccer uniform sleeping upstairs. She plays for team England of all things. Then I was stopped in my mental tracks as I saw my little far Southern China girl sleeping in her Children's Place jammie set with blue stars. Was rice farming her destiny? Or is club soccer with juice boxes and fruit snacks their destiny? What is destiny?
I could hardly sit still as the program went on to talk at length about China's population control and the effect that the one child policy has had on China's first generation of household's with single children. There is a generation of people in China who feel the weight of their parent's hopes and dreams resting on their small shoulders. There is pressure to succeed, pressure to make them proud. An Olypmic hopeful was featured. She is 12 and does not live at home with her family. She gets scolded for slipping off the balance beam in competition. I'm naive , I know but I will not look at the 2008 Olympics the same. I will not cheer for the Chinese gymnasts to win, I will cheer for them to find childhood.
Off I go to the next soccer game. I suppose I will cheer for my girl regardless of whether she kicks the ball in the right direction or not. I will have a juice box ready for her at the end of the 32 minutes. Destiny is a many complicated thing.