11.25.2008

How American are you? Oh Spare me.

Yordanos exercising her Freedoms:
Prayer.
Pursuit of Happiness.
Right to bear a pink matching bowling ball.

I think this has come up before, but people have different metrics by which they measure the "American-ness" of our children. I just find it amusing. Usually the conversation goes something like this:

"So... did your kids ask for a (insert trendy whatnot) for Christmas, yet?"

"No, they don't even know those exist."

"Oh, well it won't be long before they start acting like real Americans and demanding everything they see. My kid has been asking for a (whatnot) since August and yada yada yada"

(Insert polite smile from me)

Now don't get me wrong, I'll take the "What constitutes a Real American kid" conversation over the "Why are you adopting, is there something wrong with your plumbing?" question any day of the week. (I think that period of our life is over, btw...) I just think it's funny that people have vastly different ideas of American milestones. Usually, at least conversationally, it involves materialism. Oh and for the record, pointing at stuff and asking for it is universal. It doesn't make your kid more Americaner than mine.

While we were still in Ethiopia, Habtamu pointed at a bottle of Jack Daniels, looked me square in the eye, and said, "Me, Daddy. Me!" What was that? Your 9 year old wants an iPhone? Pfft... call me when he's ready for whiskey shots.*

Anyway, I prefer to think of their indoctrination into this country as a series of experiences. Yes, the ridiculousness of the Big Box stores is one of those experiences, but so is walking out of them empty-handed because you don't have any money. (Credit is a life lesson for a different day...) But you can't dilute the American experience down to what you've got and what you don't, and when it's all new, you are reminded of that.

Water slides and chlorine up your nose. Seeing your breath and snow in your hair. Taking the training wheels off. Falling on grass instead of concrete. Watching Daddy get excited about Football. Monkeybars. Learning that Cool Whip and Sour Cream, though they look the same, taste quite different on baked potatoes.

The list goes on, but I was really stoked when, the day of the first snow, we jumped in the car and went BOWLING. Two big midwestern milestones in one day. We went with friends who knew the rules so the kids caught on very quickly. A little too quickly. Habtamu bowled a flippin 94 his first game, nearly envoking one of the lesser known rules in bowling, "He who beateth the Father, walketh home."
video
Complete with silly shoes and personal trainers.


*Before you call DCFS, NAACP, PETA, and AARP on me, No, I did not buy my son Whiskey just because he pointed at it, although it probably would have helped on the plane home.

3 comments:

Dustin, Nikki, Madison and Sage said...

Well at least it's good to know that the "why the heck would you adopt" phase doesn't last forever! I so love the experiences you share of Y and H. I can only imagine what the whole story behind sour cream and cool whip is!

BTW, you're tagged!

Happy Thanksgiving

ABG said...

Am nearly peeing in my pants right now. Thank you for a great post-holiday-meal laugh! :)Ali

Sue said...

Those cute, little bottles of liquor make great stocking stuffers!

Oh come on ~~ I'm just kidding!

Sue L.