i woke up this morning and decided it was too much. i don’t want to be bilingual anymore. I don’t want to have to work hard to understand things people say, worry about stepping on cultural toes, or pretend that i fit in where I emphatically do not. I don’t want to go back to my hometown and chafe at places I no longer truly fit in back there, either.

i also don’t want the burden of understanding. I don’t want to be able to see the world through another pair of eyes or to take into account another view. I want to be the only way, the right way, the obvious way all the time.

I don’t want an international family anymore. I don’t want to be married to another country. I don’t want to be able to compare customs and assumptions and pick the best way to do something from two different viewpoints. i don’t want bilingual children. I don’t want a dinner at home to be a morass of language changing left and right until I am no longer sure which language someone is using.

I don’t want multiethnic/multicultural children anymore. I don’t want to worry about how the world will treat them as they grow older and older. i don’t want to feel the tug of war between the desire to shield them completely from ignorance or racism and the need to expose them to those very bugaboos so they can develop shields of their own. i don’t want my children to grow up and feel the same burdens I do of responsibility not just within one country, but between countries as well. i don’t want them to be heirs to the culture and mistakes and international reputations of two countries.

i don’t want to be bilingual anymore.

why, do you ask?

Mia’s kindergarten put me at the top of the friggin’ emergency phone tree. I have to call two people (everyone else just calls one) and then I have to wait until the whole phone tree has gone through everyone and then the last person calls me and then I have to call back to the kindergarten.

whose idea was it to put the foreigner at the top?

I can just see it now: A panicked japanese person trying to explain slowly to me some terribly important information that I then mangle completely.

and there’s a test run tomorrow. yikes.

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