I mentioned last week that I'm reading a book this summer on raising an American Kid. We did a few things in our first 4 days of summer that I considered part of our Patriot Summer like: seeing the antique cars at Zaharako's grand re-opening, biking, reading up on our town's history, and going to an A&W stand, and the Hip Hop Recital. (I mean, Hip Hop has definitely got to be American!) But I probably didn't do a great job making those connections for the boys of those excursions and my book.
What I did do though was tell them about the book this weekend, and I introduced this book's first "Dinner Table Debate" topic, without a lot of success.
The topic was "When do you feel the most American?" I was met with lots of blank stares and silence. "I don't know", "I don't know what you mean", and "I don't have a FEELING about being American" are the basic answers I got - and then a lot of frustration because I kept wording the question differently in hopes of illiciting something of a patriotic nature.
"When are you the most proud of being American?"
"Are you proud that you are American and not Lithuanian, Czechoslovakian, or Argentinian?"
"What about on the 4th of July?"
"Yes, I guess, sure" is the best I got. And the oldest would HAPPILY tell me what I wanted to hear so he could go back to reading if I had gotten anywhere close to a feeling he had. But, they were brutally honest, and the fact is, "American" just isn't a feeling they have.
David and I shared a glance. Obviously, this book is needed in my house.
I have to wonder - is it just my kids? Are other parents really good and making the connections and I just assumed my kids were proud to be American? Or are they of the norm compared to other 7 and 8 year olds? When do your kids feel most American?
Well, at least we know where we're starting from this summer. We can only go up from here!