Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A blog post inspired by the word born and a letter from Granny and Grandpa

Prompt 2. Write a blog post inspired by the word born………and a letter from Granny and Grandpa to Lucy:

My in laws live in England, the original Halifax as my husband says

When Lucy was 18 months old, we took her to meet them for the first time
She really does not remember the trip but when we show her pictures or talk about it, she latches onto those memories and can retell them just as easily as we can

The second time we went, Lucy was three and a half
She remembers that trip much better
She remembers having tea and cake at the Watergate
She remembers feeding the ducks and going to visit Nanny Claire
Lucy can describe Granny and Grandpa’s house
And she remembers that Granny has a tin she keeps biscuits (cookies) in for tea time
And that Grandpa was building a boat in the garage

We have not been back to England as a family since
Which is sad for us and for Granny and Grandpa
We miss them as they miss us

We talk about family and friends in England in an attempt to expose Lucy to my husband’s side of the family
We want her to know their names and relations to her as well as she knows my family

Granny and Grandpa decided not too long ago they would start writing to Lucy
They too felt as if they were missing out on a relationship with their third granddaughter
They want Lucy to know them in their own words as much as we do

Yesterday, Lucy received her first Letter from Granny and Grandpa

Now it is not uncommon for Lucy to get mail (she actually gets more real mail than we do) but she never tires of it
Now when I get mail, I rip it open while standing at the mailbox

Not Lucy

She clutched the letter from the mailbox to the house
As we walked into the house, I excitedly asked her who she thinks the letter is from
I don’t know Mumma, I haven’t opened it
Ok well, let’s open it I say practically shoving her to the couch and waiting for her to rip it open

Mumma I have to do my stuff first

Then she took off her shoes, hung up her coat, emptied her back pack and politely asked for some milk and a cheese all the while never releasing her hold on The Letter

When she finally settled down at the table, and had taken a few sips of milk and eaten her cheese stick, she inspected The Letter

Funny stamp she observed
Doesn’t say who it’s from on the outside
Guess I’ll have to open it

Then she hopped down off the chair and headed to her desk

What are you doing I asked because now, the suspense is killing me

I have to do my homework she replied, we have to come up with words that start with O and I just thought of one – over

You’re killing me Luce….

I just have to write it down Mumma, be patient

When she finished her paper, she perched herself back on the chair and finally opened The Letter

She pulled out two folded sheets of paper
The first was a series of photos
Each marked with the subject of the photo
The second was The Letter

She laid both out on the table, side by side, and studied them for a few minutes before making some observations:

That’s Granny and Grandpa
It is I said
Who is that baby
That’s you, when we went to England the first time
Huh, I was small
Yes you were
And that’s Cousin Lauren
It is
And that’s Granny and Grandpa’s house and their car
I like their car….can you read me the letter Mumma

So I read her the letter……twice
The first time, she had no reaction
She just listened
When I got to the end, she asked me to read it again

The second time, she studied the pictures as I read and every once in a while, she’d interrupt me to ask a question or make a statement

Grandpa looks like Daddy
Yes, they do look alike Luce
How old did Grandpa say he is
And how old is Granny
Think Granny knows Grandpa is telling everyone how old she is
Think Granny told him to stop
I chuckled, maybe

They must know I like kitties, they used paper with kitties around it
Yes, they know you like kitties
Granny likes kitties too
Yes she does
And Grandpa used to have a dog that rode in the car with him, Daddy told me
That’s right

Granny and Grandpa live in England where the Queen with the white hair is from
Yes, yes they do
That’s a country like the United States
Yes it is

Are Granny and Grandpa English like Daddy
They are
But I’m American
Well, you were born in America
So I’m American
But Daddy is English
And you’re American
And even though Daddy lives here he is still English
Yes, because he was born in England
So no matter where I live I will always be American

So even though Granny and Grandpa used to live in Africa they were still English while they were there
That’s right
Can I be both American and English
Well, Daddy is English because he was born in England and you and I are American because we were born here in America
Oh…so I never get to be English…..
Well, you never get to be from England but you have English in you
So I can be English when I want to

It was at this point I realized I was in way deeper than I wanted to be and there was almost no way out…

Not exactly…see, there’s something called nationality which is what country you are from, where you were born…..and then there is something called ethnicity which is what race your family is from – what cultures and countries…
I thought I was part of the human race

You are….but Mummy’s families, which are Noni and Papa’s families, came from Italy and Ireland, so part of you is Irish and Italian like Mummy
And Daddy’s families from Granny and Grandpa are from all over the place….so you are also English, Irish, I think Italian and a hint of Scottish and Welsh though Grandpa and Daddy might deny that
So all our families are from all those places
Yes, at some point someone from all your families lived in all kinds of different countries

But I’m also American
And I’ll always be American
Because I was born here
That’s right
What if was born in Africa
Like what if you were on a trip and I was born while you were on the trip – what are people from Africa called
So if I had been born in Africa, I would have been African
Uhh…..no, you would still be American

But you said where you are born is what you are…
Right but…you know what, how about a piece of cake
Mumma, I haven’t even had supper yet
Oh ok well, how about you watch something
Can you read my letter again

So I read it again

Mumma, how come they didn’t tell the story of how they used to live in Africa with hippos, like Daddy told me
Well, you could write back and ask them to tell you about it
How come they don’t live in Africa anymore, I mean don’t they know I dreamed my whole life of going there and they should still live there so I have someplace to stay

Well, they moved a long time ago, before you were even born
Oh yeah, I forget you guys did stuff before I was born
I laughed, yeah, we did Luce

Will they ever go live in Africa again
No honey, they live in England now, that’s where they’ll stay
Think they miss the animals from Africa
They might I said
I mean all England has are sheep and cows….sheep and cows get boring after awhile
I suppose they do I said
Do they know Noni and Papa have deers and turkeys at their house in Maine
I’m not sure Lucy
I can tell them about that in my letter – and I’ll tell them about Ziggy, but I just may do it in pictures, pictures are easier for me than all that writing because I am still just learning words
Ok Luce
I’m gonna watch my show now
Sure Luce

She hopped down and took the letter

Hey Mumma
Yeah Luce
Next time I’m born, can you do it in Africa so I can be from Africa ‘cause I love all the animals in Africa
Sure Luce, I’ll see what I can do

Hey Mumma
Yeah Luce
Do Granny and Grandpa know the Queen
No honey, not very many people actually know the Queen

Oh…hey Mumma
Yeah Luce
How come we don’t have a Queen
How come we don’t have a Queen in America
Well, because…
Because why
‘cause Mumma the Pilgrims came from England
Yes they did
So if the Pilgrims came from England and the Queen is from England, how come we don’t have a Queen…didn’t they bring a Queen
No honey, they came on their own

Mrs Dionne said they came here for a better life
They did
And a better life was without a Queen she asked
Well, back then it was actually a King
So the Pilgrims came to America with no Queen and no King
That’s right
Because they did not want to have a King or Queen
Well, because they wanted to be free to make their own decisions, to live their life as they wanted to live

And they were born in England so they were not American but they came here to live
Well, no one was an American at that point
Except the Indians who were born here and helped the Pilgrims
Well no…see America was not the United States when the Pilgrims came
What was it

Well, it was.....
see first it was......
Well, see the continents used to be connected and there was this thing called the Bering Strait….….hey Lucy, wanna know where babies come from

I already do Mumma, the Dad puts the baby in the Mom’s tummy and she grows it for a few whiles and then it gets born when the Mom pushes it out her jay-jay or the doctor cuts open her belly and pulls the baby out like what happened to me

Yeah Mumma
Why don’t you watch something before dinner
Ok….Mumma why are you rubbing you face, do you have a headache
A little bit Luce

Mumma is Ziggy American
Honey Ziggy is a cat
Yeah but he was born in America so he’s American right
Sure honey
I’m glad he was born Mumma
Me too Lucy

Hey Mumma
Are you glad I was born
You have no idea honey

Mumma, if you were never born would I never have been born….and what if you were born but Daddy wasn't would I still be born.....Mumma why are you laying your head on the table, are you tired……

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, KIDS! We just never know what is going to crank the wheels in their little brains. So glad she got to open a letter from England!


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