I’ve been asked often if I will become an American citizen. I used to just answer no. I will always be Canadian, but as time goes by things become more complicated. JD yells out “I see an Amercan flag!!!” EVERY time he sees one. Which is pretty often. This week he has insisted we “say hurray for the American flag” every time he sees one. The other day he pronounced, “Mom know what I’m finking? I’m finking we should say a prayer for de Amercan flag.” So we did. Then I was commanded to sing a song about the flag. So I did. This is all out of the blue and unprompted. Apparently he’s a naturally patriotic kid, which is fantastic and as it should be. I’ve always said that I may be Canadian but I’m raising Americans (except when it comes to hockey or curling; they’re welcome to cheer for an American team when they’re ready to move out). Love of country is very important to me. In that spirit I even gamely teach them to pronounce Z all wrong. As I raise my little Americans and support my American military husband and hang out with my American friends talking about American issues I do find myself thinking that maybe I would like to be a full voting member of society. Then I go for a visit back home. And that’s the thing. Canada is still home. Getting back there for me is much like anybody would feel upon returning to their house after a long time away. How relaxing to get home and feel that comfortable sense of knowing exactly where everything is and how everything works. Some things about your house may irritate you. Or you may come home, as we did this week, and find a pipe has burst and there’s water in all the ducts and mold in the pantry and you need some specialist to come test everything and another to rip out the drywall and remodel a bit. So home’s not perfect. But it’s home. If being in Canada is like being at my house, being in the US is much like being at my in-laws’. I’m made welcome. I love being there. I don’t quite get how everything works. There will always be allusions to family history I don’t get. There will always be things they do differently from what I’m used to. The more often I visit, the longer I stay, the more comfortable I become. So maybe one day I’ll feel like becoming a citizen. When Canadians do something stupid I say “we” in talking about the national character. When Americans do something stupid I say “you”. Maybe when I’m ready to own the flooded ducts and mold here like I am those of my own country, I’ll take an oath.
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