Getting to Know You
Chapter - 12
After a few minutes of silence, Abby turned to her new friend and asked, “MeiMei, do you have brothers or sisters?” Abby added, “I just have one brother, Alex. You know, the one you think is so cute.”
MeiMei blushed remembering Abby’s brother. With her head bowed and with a shy smile curling her mouth, she said, “Moms and dads are only allowed to have one baby in China. I think my country might be changing that rule soon.”
“I hope so. Then you could get a sister. Aren’t you lonely without someone to play with?”
“I have my Grandma all week. We have fun together reading and playing games,” said MeiMei. “But I know mom would love to have a baby if she was allowed.”
“Where are your mom and dad?” Abby asked quietly. She hoped MeiMei wouldn’t feel bad if she asked her about her parents.
“Māma and Bàba have to travel many hours on the train to get to work. They usually only come home for holidays,” MeiMei said.
“I’m sorry!” Abby frowned.
“You don’t need to be sorry,” said MeiMei. “Lots of kids are raised by their grandparents in China. Next weekend, “Māma and Bàba will come home because it is Tomb Sweeping Festival.”
“What’s that?” Abby frowned and smiled at the same time. “I haven’t heard of a Tomb Sweeping Festival before. We have Easter Holidays at this time of year. Is it like that?”
“I don’t know about Easter.” MeiMei said. What do you do for Easter?”
“A bunny comes when we are sleeping and leaves candy in a basket. Sometimes the bunny hides eggs around the house. It’s fun searching for the eggs.”
“Okay? I like that idea,” said MeiMei. “But I didn’t know rabbits laid eggs?”
“They don’t, silly. I don’t know why they leave candy eggs,” Abby laughed. “My pet rabbit, Willow, doesn’t lay eggs?” she sounded a little confused.
“What do you do on Tomb Sweeping Day? It sounds spooky!”
“We go with the family to visit our ancestors’ graves. We sweep them clean after winter. Then we plant flowers. Our dead relatives are supposed to live under the grave markers. It’s their forever home. When we visit, they know we are still thinking about them. It’s really not that spooky.” MeiMei smiled.
The girls giggled at the same time and said, “Lets be best friends forever."
“How will we talk to each other,” they wondered at the same time.
“We can probably email each other.” MeiMei said.
“That’s a good idea. If you give me your address, I can also send you some pictures.” Abby said.
Abby was excited to get to know MeiMei better. It was fun having a new friend in China. She hoped her dad would let MeiMei look after Finn so she wouldn't have to lose him. And also, if he said yes, she would get to see her friend again.