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Son, It's Time We Have A Talk About Where Babies Go

Now, Xiu, you're getting to be a really big boy, and I know you've been asking a lot of questions about Mommy and why she's been so sad lately. Well, your mom and I have been talking and we think you're finally old enough to learn where babies—where babies go.

No, the stork doesn't take them away, Xiu. Please, son, just listen to Daddy, okay?

Do you remember when Mommy had a big tummy? Yes, you put your ear next to it, that's right. Now, do you also remember around that time, when that letter came in the mail? The one Daddy ripped up and threw all over the ground? And Xiu, a few months after that, do you remember that man—that tall man in the shiny coat? He came to our door and there was all that screaming?

No, he's not where the babies go, either. Not exactly. Please Xiu, just wait a second…. It's a little more complicated than that.

You see, when a mommy and daddy love each other very much, but they're being pressured by the People's Republic of China and they have nowhere else to turn, sometimes they will walk miles away to a place where nobody knows who they are, and they'll—wait, no. Hold on. Let's start over. Can Daddy just think for a moment here?

Play with your toys for a bit. Why don't you take out Mr. Bear and Mrs. Giraffe and play with them for a little while? It's all right, Daddy's okay. He just needs to go splash some cold water on his face.

Okay, this might make more sense. You know how sometimes I complain about there being too many toys in your room, and how I say that they're making a mess, and in order to not make such a mess, you might need to throw some of your toys out? Well, China is kind of like that, too. What's that? You're right, I've never told you to throw any of your toys away. Because that would be very mean—yes—you're right. Xiu, my son, please don't cry. None of your toys will have to be thrown out.

Nobody should have to get rid of anything they love.

Maybe Daddy can borrow some of your markers and paper. That might make things easier to explain. First, let's draw your mother. And inside your mother's tummy is a tiny little baby. Look how cute she is! Let's call her Eu-meh, okay? That was your great-great-grandmother's name. Well, inside Mommy there is also something else. There's also this black thing here. That's called "fear." And every time Mommy gets a phone call from the census bureau, or a threatening telegram from the National Population and Family Planning Commission, that black thing keeps growing inside of Mommy. Growing and growing until it's bigger than even little Eu-meh.

No, no, Xiu, Mommy's not going to give birth to the black thing. It was just an example. No, the black thing can't be your little sister. Look, it doesn't work that way. Just forget that I mentioned the black thing at all.

Here, this I think you'll understand. Remember Uncle Jm Leor? He was really smart, and used to teach school at the university, and helped to organize big parades against the government? Remember how after one of his parades we told you that Uncle Jm Leor had to move far, far away? Well, that's where babies go. They have to move far, far way.

I guess in a kind of hotel, yes. It's not the kind of hotel you can visit, Xiu. Because it's already full. It's all full of babies. Listen, I don't know who takes care of them. That's not the point of what I'm trying to…

How can I—you're so young and so ...You know what? It's the stork. The babies go with the stork, Xiu. Giant storks come and take the babies away and that's where they go. Make sense? Good.

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