Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The topic of the week on ABC and 123 Summer Picnic is Independence Day. Both my husband and I came to the United States as adults, so Anna is the first generation American in our family. The situation is complicated by the fact that we are not even coming from the same country and the same culture. We are making up a lot of holidays and traditions as we go along the same way as other immigrant families approach their new world in the Silicon Valley and elsewhere. So what is it that I want to teach my daughter about Independence Day before she goes to school and learns all about Betty Ross and Declaration of Independence?

  • It's a birthday of our country. Countries are older than people, but they also have special days to celebrate and remember how they came about.

  • It's a day to celebrate with our neighbors. The street that we live on has an Independence Day bash where everyone brings out tables and barbecue, contributes to potluck dinner and celebrates together. It's very kid oriented. It will be our first 4th of July in this neighborhood, so we are very excited.

  • It's time to remember that there are people in other parts of the world who are less fortunate. It's a little early to communicate this message now, but I want to raise some awareness of the world around us over the remaining 2 years at home.

  • It's time to celebrate your heritage. We would really like Anna to learn more about our own cultures and why we came to the States.
While she is a young child, I truly want her to think that she lives in the best place in the world. After all, both of her parents have chosen to come here - what could be a better proof? When she is older, we can have different discussions about how democracy works, why she needs to question authority and how to distinguish true patriotism from patriotic propaganda. It will come... but for now, let her be a child and celebrate another birthday of her beautiful and proud country.