People have been asking me the same questions about our upcoming trip to Nashville so I decided to simplify things for all of us and post an FAQ.
(Do normal people post FAQs about their personal life? Someone tell me they do.)
1. Why are you going to Nashville?
The kids' English is falling behind their same-age peers in the U.S. and I want them to catch up right now. There's a certain window of opportunity for learning a language like a native speaker and I don't want that window to close before I realize it. So the main goal is to get their written and spoken English back up to their age level.
At the same time I really need some time back in my home country, close to my family. I do love China and my friends and family here but after six years, it's time for me to get back home for a while.
2. How long will you stay?
At least a year. Buddy and I will an assessment after six months and see how everyone is doing academically, socially, health-wise, etc. Then we'll decide whether we'll move back to China in 2012 or if we'll stay in the U.S. longer.
And wow did I just put "academically" ahead of "health-wise"? I did, didn't I? That is just not right.
3. Why Nashville? Aren't you from Alabama?
Yes, I am from Tuscaloosa and my parents are still there but we picked Nashville because it's a very open-minded and vibrant place. Nashville is a city with soul.
Plus my baby sister Amanda lives there and she and her husband Jeff are expecting their baby Bliss in September.
(When your baby sister has a baby do you have to stop calling her that?)
4. Where will the kids go to school?
Nashville public schools. Julia Green Elementary School for Grant and J.T. Moore Middle School for Audrey. We're going to live right across the street from Amanda in a 2BR/1BA duplex.
Yes, one bathroom. God help us. I hope Reba doesn't mind if Grant occasionally pees in the bushes in the backyard. Maybe she will write a country music song about him.
5. When do you leave?
6. Have you started packing yet?
Yes. Grant packed the first suitcase over the weekend. He used our biggest suitcase and filled it with Nerf guns.
So we're set, basically.
7. Are the kids excited?
Yes, totally. They can't wait to see what American schools are like. And they love cheese grits and Taylor Swift.
8. Will you miss us here in China?
Yes, absolutely. I love you guys. We will be back, I promise.