I left work early today to join the Chinese New Year’s celebration at Oskar’s school. I arrived a little late, but think I only missed the speech of the principal and some performance of the older kids.
So I was right on time, actually.
Kids from different ages then went back into their classrooms to do some activities. In Oskar’s case this was cutting shapes out of red envelopes (which are available galore at this time of the year and are used to give money to others) and paste them onto a Chinese character.
Oskar enjoyed this, though he was more keen on playing with the scissors and messing around with the glue than pasting stuff onto the wall. Here’s how the end result looked like (the flowery pieces are from us – the one in the middle is a little low, though, but hey: shut up! – I am glad we made it stick at all):
I stressed about Oskar cutting himself with those paper scissors, but I got to say this was actually a nice little exercise. Look at me – I’m on fire!
And I was really glad I came. The teachers took care of the children whose parents could not be there and Oskar likely does not realize yet that he can expect at least one of us to join him at these events. But it would be still sad if he had to be on his own.
This became even more clear when the whole crowd moved to the lunch room where the classic food tossing happened. Don’t ask me for the details: some stuff on a plate, you add several ingredients one after another as a symbol for whatever good can happen to you. And then all of this is jointly tossed up and down to mix it – google it, if you’re curious.
Now, for that part some kids without parents fell through the cracks of teacher supervision. At our table was one boy who was a little lost, missed his turn to get chop sticks and also had no plate to eat whatever we tossed. I made sure he got all of this and was also included in the tossing.
While I would not want Oskar feel left out in this situation (this tossing thing is kind of a big deal for the Chinese New Year), nor should other kids.
When the tossing was done, other treats were offered, including chocolate cake, some fried stuff and… you know… a bunch of things I don’t have names for. Let’s call them cookies and wobbly stuff that I would not touch with a stick.
I got Oskar some of the safe looking food…
He seemed to enjoy it.
We spent a little more time together until the school bus came. I put him on the bus, knowing that Lamia and Aggie were ready to pick him up at home, and then moved on to the supermarket on the other side of the road for our long Chinese New Year weekend grocery shopping.
I guess I’ll spend some more time on events like these in the future…