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(From "YEAR ONE: Crash Course In Culture Shock")


Dear Journal,

Usually when mom and dad say they have some big news to share it means they’re having a baby or we’re going somewhere cool like Great Wolf Lodge Water Park so that’s what I was expecting when they sat my little brother and I down on the couch, smiled and said, “We have some big news to share.”

I looked over at my little brother, Lucas, and thought I hope you’ve enjoyed being the baby of the family because your run is over pal…

“We’re moving to China.”

“We’re going to Great Wolf Lodge?”

I knew they had said China, but I was hoping to change their minds with something called subliminal messaging. I had read about this in a comic book recently. You basically say or write messages all around that convince people to do what you want. This was the perfect time to try it out.

“No Hudson, we’re moving to China.”

“Well, I for one can’t wait to go back to Great Wolf Lodge! Right Lucas? Wasn’t it fun last time?”

Lucas looked from me to our parents trying to figure out where his loyalties should go. I’d caught him doing this more and more lately as he figured out that they had the power to feed him, but I had the power to share my toys.

“China!” He shouted. Yeah, we both knew he played with my toys even when I said no.

It was 3 against 1. “Great Wolf Lodge! Great Wolf Lodge!” I started marching around the room, clapping my hands, hoping to get everyone up out of their seats and excited with me. No one moved. (Note to self: subliminal messaging is useless.) I sat back down. “Are you sure we want to move to China? Where is China by the way?”

All I knew about China personally was that Panda Express was one of my favorite restaurants. I guess I should have paid more attention to what my last fortune cookie told me: “A big surprise is coming for you. You can’t escape it. The odds will be against you” It was confusing at the time, but now it makes perfect sense!

To be honest, I wasn’t THAT surprised about my parents’ big announcement. Let me explain. Ever since I was born, my mom and dad have been talking about China. From what I’ve picked up while eavesdropping on their conversations (when they think I’m playing on the phone, laptop, or watching TV, I’m also listening very closely to what they are talking about. I figured this is a good way to keep tabs on what they are planning. Which is important right, I mean my life is at stake. And it’s a good thing I started listening because one time after dinner I heard them say “I don’t know what we’re going to do with this kid.” and I was like “You’re gonna love me, feed me pizza and buy me toys!” My answer seemed to surprise them. After that I noticed they started whispering more.

So over the years I’ve picked up bits and pieces of information like my dad lived and taught English in Taiwan for many years after college and before he met my mom. Also, right after they met, my dad moved to China where he studied Chinese for two years in a small city that he talks about a lot. I’ve heard about the mountains and rivers and blah, blah, blah. I haven’t heard about the internet availability, wifi-speeds or Fortnite gaming capabilities in the area. Thankfully, dad came back from China and married my mom…if he hadn’t, I might not have been born. Shudder.

At bedtime tonight, mom had her iPad and she showed Lucas and I some videos that I had totally forgotten about! Almost one year ago, mom and dad started making videos of them talking with us about China and when they asked us if we wanted to go, we said YES! I didn't believe her, but the videos don't lie.

This is how it went down: dad sat Lucas and I on the couch and gave us lollipops. When he asked me if I wanted to go to China, I either said "yes" or "gas". It's hard to tell. Then dad asked Lucas how he would feel if we didn’t go to China and dad took the lollipop away. Lucas started screaming (I thought that was harsh). Then he gave the lollipop back and Lucas stopped crying instantly. But that's not the best part. The WET-YOUR-PANTS-HILARIOUS part is after that when Lucas starts climbing onto our parent's bed and I follow him. Somehow Lucas' lollipop got stuck in his hair on top of his head and he couldn’t find it! It was so funny! I saw it sticking out and started laughing. Dad told me to help Lucas find it because he started crying again. Finally, he found it and yanked it out of his hair and stuck it in his mouth again. Are you kidding me? Nasty! Dad got the whole thing on video and I know we can win some money on AFV!

After watching the videos, Lucas and mom and I were laughing so hard we could hardly breathe. Lucas will still eat anything!

Before leaving our room, mom looked at us and said that when she married dad, she knew she would be moving to China one day. Of course, nobody asked us, but I guess when you don’t pay the mortgage or any of the bills, or for eating out or for the gas or for anything at all, then you don’t get a say in major life-altering decisions. Basically, where mom and dad go, we go. Family is a package deal. And our family is moving to China.

Hi God. I guess if you’re here in Texas then you’re in China too, right? Wait a minute, did my dad ever ask YOU about moving us all there?! He probably did which means You probably want us to go. If You do want us to go to China then I’ll give it a try. Dad read a Bible verse to me today that was pretty cool. It said Your eyes look all over the earth to help people who believe in You. Thanks for keeping an eye on us.

And blind the eyes of all those who try to peak in this journal. Amen.

2 Chronicles 16:9 (ERV) “The eyes of the Lord go around looking in all the earth for people who are faithful to him so that he can make them strong.”

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