Raising an American

Today the babe and I went out with his close friends to a museum where we did an art project on Fourth of July. Basically it was making a US flag collage – using the red, white, blue colors but shapes of their choice on a sticky sheet.

When I woke up this morning and mentioned it to the babe, he was excited ‘Am I going to make a flag? Just like America flag?’

And while going in, he was happy too, seeing all the other kids coming out beaming, flapping their creations of red, white and blue.

And once his work was done – and the new flag, a collage of circles, white stars, bars and shapes he cut out on a see through sticky was proudly in his hand – he started marching up and down calling everyone to parade with him.

And this exercise, more than anything else so far, made me think that I am raising an American. Of course, no big deal. He was born here. But I wasnt. I still carry an Indian passport and as I mentioned in ‘The Big Debate‘ we are still debating on where we will settle.

So tomorrow is US independance day. While I could speak so easily about Indian independance, I plan to read up more on the American one. And about Memorial day and other days. Of course, he will learn at school, but I want him to feel confident from the start that he is an American. Not torn in any way.

It takes me back to what a friend had mentioned about changing to a US citizenship. He said ‘I love India but I dont want to be a citizen of a different country than the kids’.

When I was putting the babe down for his nap he asked ‘Did you make fourth of July flags just like this when you were three?’ . No, I said, I think I waved Indian flags. He was of course fine with that piece of information. In fact, he had brought an India flag back with him from his trip.

But it made me think more about explaining this conflict, maybe even in political issues at some point to my son, whom I want to make ‘Proud to be an American’.

 

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4 Comments

  1. sands

    This post reflects the dilemma we immigratns face everyday, manytimes.

  2. Marjorie

    Khushi, this conflict will continue for you and even your son. I think school and influences here will help him but for a time he will reject one of his two loyalties and then settle on his American one.

  3. Khushi

    Thank you both for your comments. It is good to hear of others facing a similar dilemma.

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