As if there were any doubt.
My children are growing up American.
Rufus came back from school this week with his ‘snap words’, and ‘mom’ is top of the list. He’s just learning to read, so it’s an interesting one because this word will be more confusing for him than his classmates. English accent in full flow, I am called Mummy rather than Mommy, and with classic ‘sound it out’ strategies, mom is not the straightforward result.
Of course, he will learn ‘mom’ and I imagine that will become his written form of what he calls me. Maybe the accent will fade, and it will slide slowly into his spoken version too.
I don’t want him to stand out from the crowd for the sake of a spelling, but I also do. I don’t want him to feel different, but I also don’t want him to forget his roots. I don’t want him to be confused unnecessarily, but I also don’t want him to feel entirely at home in this place that is our home but not our homeland.
It’s only a word. And I haven’t shared any of my disproportionate thought process with him (you’ll be glad to know). But it raises questions as we bring up our boys here with no fixed idea as to how long we will here rather than there.
Billy has taken up basketball, lever and ‘z’ are bandied around with broad American accents, and Rufus is wondering whether we’ll be eating turkey on Thanksgiving like the rest of his friends. It’s a cultural adventure, and one that we’re watching being played out through our children.
I’m grateful for the enriching, perspective-widening, comfort-shifting experience. We’re enjoying the American ride.
I’m grateful, too, that our God is not bound by cultural location. He is steadfastly true and faithful wherever we are living, and whatever culture our children choose to embrace. Praise God for unshifting, eternally secure ground there for moms and mums trusting in Jesus.