The Longest Shortest Time

EPISODE #137: Bubble Boy

My friend Gregory Warner and his wife Sana Krasikov are world travelers.

Sana and Gregory on a Safari in Kenya

Gregory’s reported news stories for NPR from all over the globe, and Sana’s a novelist who writes about Russia. The two of them are always up for an adventure. Like, that time they packed up their life and moved with their 18-month-old son Joseph to Nairobi.

Gregory, Joseph and a monkey at Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy

Joe and his pre-K class visiting a statue of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first President

Joseph (who’s six now) and his two-year-old sister Lilian have spent most of their lives in Kenya. But it wasn’t until their family moved back to the States last year that Joseph found himself in really foreign territory. Turns out, American kid culture’s got some strange and confusing customs – chief among them, the all-important “personal bubble.”

Tune in this week to hear about Gregory and Sana’s quest to help Joseph figure out this bubble business, how that plan totally backfired, and how Joseph finally became an American boy.

Gregory and Sana make stuff!
Gregory’s new podcast is called Rough Translation. Each episode takes an idea we’re talking about in the United States, and follows that conversation to hear what it sounds like somewhere else in the world. Check out this recent episode, about a Chinese mom-to-be and the American woman who’s carrying her baby as a surrogate:


Sana’s debut novel, The Patriots, will be out in paperback October 17th.

Tell us YOUR cross-cultural parenting stories!
What are the ways you’re opening your kid up to the world? Or, how are you trying to keep them grounded in their home culture while they’re living abroad? Let us know in the comments below.

Pre-K class photo courtesy of Montessori Learning Centre, Nairobi. Safari photo: Ken Warner. Photo of Gregory, Joseph and monkey at Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy: Sana Krasikov.

Our sponsors for this episode are Third Love, Spice Islands, and RXBAR (code: TIME). Use the promo codes at checkout for a special discount.