It has been an amazing time, this my first Christmas with my three kiddos to see how having children changes the whole holiday season. As I sat on fire engine ride with my four year old a week ago at a Christmas festival, I thought, I don’t even remeber this ride being here last year. But, mostly likely, I didn’t notice that attraction. To watch my children dance to Christmas music and talk about how many days are left til Santa comes down the chimmney make the holiday season great. I also find humor in what they determine or learn from friends at school about the holidays. The other day, my five year old just randomly stated, “Santa is kind of fat maybe he shouldn’t eat desserts everynight.” My four year old’s favorite song is “We miss you a Merry Christmas.” I have also watched them grow and change in the last 8 months. My 5 1/2 year old told me the other night, “We didn’t live here last year on Christmas. Christmas was different in Ethiopia. But it is very far away.” She told me that they had watched a video about Ethiopia in her class, and she told all her friends that Ethiopia is where she is from. She also has been so immersed in American culture now. She waits for Santa to bring her the Barbie bike and other toys she asked for and can’t imagine a world not only without television, but without TIVO. She recently asked me as we were watching live television, “Can’t you fast forward through the commercial?”
My son has also changed. A couple of weeks ago he was having surgery and he was in recovery and the nurse asked me”Does he speak another language?” I quietly said unforuantely not anymore. He also has his friends, Chuck E Cheese and a world where people ask “Where is he from? Here or somewhere else?” He unlike his sister does not like to talk about his past. He prefers pizza to Ethiopian food if given the chance.
I wonder about our 19 month old who knows no life, but America. What will she be like? So my wish for my kids this holiday season is that, as we do at every meal, we pray an Ethiopian prayer that they recited the first day we met them. They do not know what it means anymore, but it centers our day around the two worlds that my husband and I try to unite for our children. So we can raise amazing Ethiopian American adults. I look forwad to the week ahead and Santa’s arrival at our house. Peace.