I used to think that being an American meant we were independent. I saw strength and that we were better together.
My husband spent some time this summer studying for the US Citizenship test. 100 questions that every American should know, but most likely, naturalized Americans know more than natural-born Americans. I can speak for myself on this, as I studied right along with him and learned a lot – things I knew, but could not recite from memory. Well, it paid off and my husband became a US Citizen on Thursday. He had 11 family members in attendance – four who came from Mexico expressly for this ceremony and seven of us who already live here.
We decided to go through this at this time due, in fact, to the upcoming presidential election in November. He wants to vote.
I don’t want to participate in any political debates here, but I wanted to express my opinion of the state of not just the US right now, but the state of the world.
When I was younger, I grew up believing that challenges and differences made us stronger. It was a point where I could learn something about others and myself and make “hard” decisions that would affect my future.
When did the tides turn? When did hearing an opinion different from mine or seeing someone different from me evoke so much displeasure that it was OK to eliminate it/them? The world would be such a boring place if everyone looked like and thought like me.
What happened to the pride of the “melting pot” that is the US? What happened to compassion? What happened to empathy and sympathy? We have become cold-hearted and that makes me sad.
When did we become so afraid of something or someone that is different? I don’t want to live in a state of fear. That is not what it means to be an American.
This year we now have three in Elementary School – two in Kindergarten and one in 2nd grade. Boy how time flies. They are not babies anymore. They all have distinct personalities and it’s amazing how identical twins can be so different.
Top L – The Joker, Bottom L – Mr. Sensitive, R – The Big One
Maximus is independent and serious, always inside his own head. He loves mommy and loves taking things apart. Don’t leave a screwdriver around or you’ll see a table in pieces when you get home. He is the most sensitive and his heart can break easily. One wrong move can bring on the tears and you will hear either: “This is the worst day ever” or “I’m going to find a new house” as he rushes away in tears. He never misses a “hug and a kiss and a tickle” when I’m leaving him and is always available for an extra kiss.
Marcus is the joker. He thinks everything is a joke and thinks everyone wants to play as much as he does. He is a risk taker and is afraid of NOTHING. He will jump off the 6th step or climb the bookcase just to say he did. He loves water and loves when older girls (8-10 years old) pay attention to him and take care of him like big sisters. He’d be an only child if he could just so he could get all of the attention and he is the most jealous of the three. He’s tackling Kindergarten like a pro, yet shed many tears on back to school night until he was re-assigned to the same class as his brother. Marcus is a natural athlete and will excel at whatever sport is presented to him.
Alexander is the oldest and doesn’t let you forget it. He is the most easygoing and yet the most stubborn. He is so good at math, and can read like a pro. He can translate anything from Spanish to English and loves to show off to his brothers. He is the perpetual big sibling always trying to “teach” his brothers how to do things yet coming across bossy. Alexander loves to draw cartoons and is always drawing his favorite characters, looking for pictures/images on Google and drawing them himself. He has won the Responsibility award, the Respect award and the Creativity award at his school.
I’m a proud mama and sad they’re growing up so fast, but so excited to see what’s ahead. This is a great journey and I’m so glad I’m on it with these three. There’s never a dull moment in my house!