The Fourth of July snuck up on me. I was cruising Facebook Friday and saw all the “Happy 4th of July” posts and remembered it is a whole themed event in the States– star spangled plates, cups, hats, t-shirts and Jell-o salads. It isn’t Wal-Mart’s impressive aisles of trinkets that I miss the most, it’s my family and the choked up pride I have that spills out when I have the rare opportunity to sing The Star Spangled Banner on the Fourth of July while watching fireworks illuminate the sky. I am American, and I am proud. I want my kids to get this, too.
All three of our kids have been born in Paris, and this is home for them. Even that is strange if I really think about it. Home isn’t a trampoline in the backyard or riding to school on a yellow bus. Home isn’t eating Cheerios and going to grandma and grandpa’s on the weekend. Home is going to the park to play everyday and walking five minutes to school. Home is asking for a pain au chocolat on the weekends and Facetiming with grandma and grandpa on Sundays. This is the childhood they will remember.
Their childhood memories will also include our version of American holidays like eating ice-cream sundaes on 4th of July and having Miss Karen’s homemade pumpkin pie (filling and crust, thank you). This is what it means to be a third-culture kid. And, this is what it means to be the mom of third-culture kids– growing a love and understanding of two cultures. Happy Fourth of July; Let freedom ring!