Thursday, March 26, 2009

"My flag"

Yesterday my Daughter was finishing a drawing for my step dad who just had his birthday. She decided she wanted to draw a flag post with a flag raised, just like the one we have at the summerhouse in the Stockholm archipelago. 

She started drawing it, and I didn't pay much attention. Then she asked "where do I put the stars?". For a moment I was confused, not knowing what she was talking about. No stars on the flag last time I checked. Then it hit me. "Oh, you're drawing the American flag?", I said. For a moment the Daughter was confused, not knowing what I was talking about. "I'm drawing my flag", she said. 

Of course. If you ask my Daughter, born and raised in California to draw the flag - she will of course draw a red and white striped flag with white stars on a blue rectangle in the corner. Why would she automatically draw a blue flag with a yellow cross as I was assuming? In the end we decided to draw two flags - after all - here in California you see flagpoles with two flags all the time - the American and the California flag (and in the end neither flag was in the "correct" colors - but then, who cares, the point is that there are two flags up for the birthday boy).

But it was yet a reminder that however much I want to answer "Swedish" to the question on what my kids think they "are" - it's not what they would answer. 

So from now on we have two official flags in the house, mixing red, blue, white and yellow. And that's pretty neat too. 

6 comments:

Amelia said...

Hej!
Hoppas att allt står väl till med dig! Jag har lämnat en rätt kul utmaning till dig på min blogg!

Anna, Fair and True said...

:)

Annika said...

Jojo, då där är det...
Jag vet...
:-)

Indie said...

You do such a good job in capturing the emigrant experience, or the alien experience. I have always marveled at the courage of people who go to a live in a strange land. I like the way you chronicle the small realizations and realities along the way.

I am so glad you give your kids a sense of their Swedish identity so they don't have to reassemble it from fragments like so many second- and third-generation Swedes must.

I never asked you but do they speak Swedish?

tales from an O.C. cottage said...

And that, my dear, is what it means to be an American! All of our ancestors felt the same. Some of us have more than 2 flags...your kids are lucky! :)

m ^..^

JaCal said...

Amelia - oj - då måste jag genast titta efter! ;-) Jag är ju flera dagar efter mig här pga av jobb och meck.

Anna - många flaggor blir det...

Annika - ;-) tänk ändå att jag blev så förvånad...

Indie - for me the kids' Swedish heritage is extremely important - but equally important is for them to be Americans too. It sure is an intersting journey since we're both Swedish and "new" to a lot of things here too. Learning by doing. Yes, the kids are completely bilingual - and so far speak good Swedish without too much accents - we'll see how that turns out in the future - but at least they can speak, read and write it.

Tales.. - ;-) I guess you're right.