Friday, 9 February 2007

not American enough

My mother's coming for her annual visit next week. I used to ask her to drag over lots of stuff from the US, but over the years, it's less and less. the basic list these days is a pair of running shoes and some deodorant. But this time, she's lugging over stuff for the baby. she claims she's coming to visit me, but not really. She's bringing English books, Osh Kosh and Carter's clothes (more childish than French baby clothes) and some toys.

My daughter is 8 months old now. And I worry about her being too French and not American enough. Since I had to go back to work fulltime when she was 3 months old ( and 4 days a week as of January thanks to the wonderful French social system!), not only do I miss her but I also worry that she won't hear enough English or see enough American culture. I'm glad my mom will be here to take care of little S for a week.

Since little S came, being American has taken on a new meaning. I want her to know her roots and to know where mom comes from. I want to see what I saw as a kid - she loves the old Muppet Show reruns! - and have some of the same typical American experiences like summer camp. But I guess she'll be more French than American despite the chocolate chip cookies, the Dr. Seuss books and the Osh Kosh overalls.

Over the years, I've gone from wanting to be French to wanting to be very American to finally just accepting the feeling of being a foreigner here and there. I guess little S will have to deal with that to an even greater extent. I just hope I can prepare her for that, just a little bit.


Deb said...

Hi there! Love your new blog!

I have the same fears about my little girl. Will she really know her American side?

I guess all we can do is keep talking to them with our lovely American accents, read disney books to them, let them watch American cartoons and shows in English, make sure they have ties with our American families and friends, and try to visit the US at least once a year.

We should start an American play group! ;o)

Pardon My French said...

That is something I've been thinking (and meaning to post) about as well. I really want her to be proud of her dual roots and am not sure of the "correct" path to take. I would love for her to experience a year or 6 months at the old elementary school I taught at, but am not sure if that will work out.

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