I wrote these little stories/proverbs that I hope you enjoy!

We’re Just Kids – Proverbs of a 1/2 Chinese Girl

The Young are Selfish

“These are the coolest drinks I’ve ever seen!” says 15 year old Nao. Nao inhales her drink and Lin takes a few sips. Lara Jean, just 7, stares at her drink saying “It is too beautiful to drink…” Lin offers her younger daughter a taste of her drink. Lara Jean excitedly jumps at the offer and gulps down half of her mother’s drink. Nao and Lin look at each other and laugh.

diane presser - we're just kids

Clothes Aren’t Everything

It’s Nao’s16th birthday and she got to buy all these cool clothes from the street shops in Shanghai. She couldn’t wait to show off her new unique pieces to her friends at school. She comes home and finds her new clothes accidentally put into the dryer having all shrunk. She starts crying. Her mother and sister in the next room help her lay her clothes out on the bed to see if any are salvageable. Her mom and sister end up trying on some of the shrunken clothes and they fit her sister perfectly. Nao starts crying feeling more hurt. Her mother says “Don’t worry. We can always buy more clothes”. She hands Nao some money. Nao stops crying and feels silly and a little shallow.

diane presser - we're just kids

Throw It Away

Nao comes home from youth group to find her mother in the kitchen. Her mother casually comments that she thinks Nao is going to church too much. It’s true Nao is spending a lot of time at church. She went from spending a couple of hours on Sunday to going a few days a week. Her mom casually comments “Learn everything you can from something then throw it away. If you hold onto only one thing or way for too long it can turn corrupt.” Nao asks her mom if she believes in God. Her mom says she believes in some higher being but she doesn’t know what it is. Nao asks her dad if he believes your fate is predetermined or if you make you own fate. Her dad says he makes his own fate. He doesn’t seem to believe in God but he is the most loving man Nao knows.

diane presser - we're just kids

Stinky Feet

Nao, now 31, gets a text from her sister who is packing for a move across the country. It is a picture of a hand drawn note that says: “NOTICE TO ALL LARAIANS: Thou must wash thy feet of stickiness before entrance” with a sloppy signature. Nao texts Lara back saying “Wow, I apologize for being such a jerk”. Lara texts back “Haha. No it’s fine. I thought it was funny. I have no idea why it was under a chair though.” Lara’s boyfriend is in the background helping her pack her belongings.

diane presser - we're just kids

After Work

Nao comes home from work. It is almost 10 years after she graduated college and started her first job. Her husband Daniel was reading on the sofa with their puppy. He gets up to give her a hug as their puppy beats him to the finish. He asks her how her day was. She says “Good. I just wish I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I’m so hungry. What do you want to eat?”

Baggy Karate Pants

Nao gets dressed for karate class as her husband Daniel is editing his book on his laptop. “I should design karate uniforms for women. I hate how baggy the butt part of these pants are.” Daniel looks up from his laptop, smiles and says “Kick some butt at karate boo!”

Puppy Looking Out the Window

Nao is drawing alone in the empty spare bedroom after having a creative itch. Her husband, followed by their puppy, rush in and jump onto the bed. “Just wanted to say hi” says her husband. He snuggles the pillow with a big smile. He was watching a baseball game with his favorite team. He says “If I was our puppy I would sit here all day, look out the window and bark at the people outside.”

My Own Dojo

Nao has made a dojo of her spare room. She likes to stare at it but hasn’t started using it yet. She read an article saying to be a karate instructor you need to practice a minimum of 3–5 hours a week outside of class mastering the basics. She quit piano, she quit violin, but she says to herself she will not quit karate. She added a mirror, a lamp, and a speaker to the room. She turns up the music and starts pretend ballet dancing and then she starts kicking. Her dog is too scared to come into the room.

The Less You Have The More You Give

Nao drives past a group of homeless people situated outside a place she once went to volunteer. She parks and visits her sister’s old nanny. The nanny cooked up ten vegetarian dishes for Nao. As they eat in this tiny overly crowded one bedroom apartment, Nao offers to pay for the groceries that made all this food. The nanny gets angry and says no way. They go back to eating, chatting happily about old memories together of their younger selves.

Cool Older Girl

One day Nao walks home with the cool older girl after school. It was 4th grade. The cool older girl and Nao jumped the wall into the cool older girl’s backyard. The cool older girl lived in a huge house and offered Nao a snack. They went swimming and Nao had a blast. Nao walked home afterwards. Her parents had called the police and told all the neighbors she was missing. Nao thought she told her parents where she was going. She was having such a good day and now she was in trouble.

Friends Who Know

“I knew within the first few minutes of hanging out with you that I wanted to be your friend.” It feels good to be chosen. I would have chosen you too.

How You Define Yourself

“I define myself by my relationships and not my job”. How can you be younger but know so much more? It’s funny how you used to convince me to play Pretty Pretty Princess and now I still feel like the little princess.