So, it’s been a while and we are still here.
I can’t actually believe we are coming up on a decade in Hong Kong. The kids are fully fledged teenagers, we are now permanent residents (we have that handy card that gets us through immigration at the airport really, really fast…), and yes, we have a dog.
So that’s it then. I think it’s a sign that we may never be leaving, or not for the foreseeable future anyway. I figure once you commit to the dog, it’s game over and you are staying put. Cats, not so much – they are independent creatures who barely have time to acknowledge anyone’s existence nevermind emotionally attach themselves (we have two of them, equally contemptuous). It’s actually a bit of a menagerie around here and yesterday my eldest was complaining that it was far too distracting to study amongst all the animals. But honestly? A beetle crawling slowly into the corner would distract a sixteen-year-old from studying. A crumb on the table distracts him.
My boys board weekly at their school about 30km outside the city so to fill the Monday to Friday void in the apartment, Mr. C and I decided to get a dog – well, we weren’t going to do anything as rash as have another child, so as it turns out we did the closest thing possible but I didn’t know it at the time. I feel like we were sending ourselves a message because there is such a permanence to the responsibility that we’ve taken on. And just so we’re all clear on this, we didn’t do it for the kids (although the video of the surprise puppy waiting at home for them when they came back from school was priceless). We are not so naive to think that they will actually look after her, take her for walks when there are far more pressing appointments on Snapchat to attend to, or participate in any meaningful way in the effort to keep her alive other than rolling about on the floor with her. So she belongs to the adults and the children amuse her. Her name is Lucy Liu and regardless of the role we each play in her life, we all adore her.
I have always been scared of dogs and I never thought I would own one. But then again, I never thought I would be in Hong Kong for a decade either. Didn’t really see myself as a mother of teenagers. Or twenty-five years married and that one’s coming up – not that I thought I’d be divorced, I just didn’t see it coming. Or menopause. Who knew that treat was around the corner?
So while some things stay the same, I guess I should embrace the changes.
It’s especially easy when change has four legs, golden fur, and big sad eyes.