From the moment Erin was placed in my arms, she wanted nothing to do with anything Chinese - the people, the language, the culture. You can imagine how concerned David & I were. Having been born in a land of beauty with an extremely old culture, we want her to be proud of her heritage.
When Erin was finally granted American citizenship, she told us that she was no longer Chinese but only American. Seriously? Have you looked in a mirror? We explained that she will always be American, but she will also always be Chinese.
When she was in 2nd grade, I put my foot down & decided she needed to get with it & realize that she was a daughter of China thereby making China show herself in a good light. I sent in the usual treats for Chinese New Year - lucky money envelopes, chocolate coins & clementines, & let her hand them out. In 3rd grade, she decided she wanted to do the same thing but this time she wanted me to come in & talk about China. She wore her Chinese dress, handed out treats & sat with her classmates while I gave a lesson. This past year in 3rd grade 2nd time around, she asked to wear her Chinese dress all day long at school. We insisted that she not wear the dress since it is silk. During this Chinese New Year school celebration, she answered a few simple questions & even helped me with the presentation.
Lately, she has decided that maybe being from China isn't such a bad thing. It's taken quite a few talks, but we believe she is finally seeing that being Chinese is as awesome as being Jewish and as awesome as being American.
This morning our family watched our DVRd program of the 2012 London Olympics Opening ceremonies. Can you say "WOW!!"? London truly rose to the occasion. I laughed. I cried. We talked about the things she was seeing. David explained some parts while I explained others. I told her that it has been a lifelong dream of mine to visit the United Kingdom. In fact, her name Erin is Irish while her middle name Chelsie is English. (Boy, I hope I got that right!)
Then the different countries entered. I pointed out Argentina, where Miss Vivian is from having lived there a good portion of her life. That brought a comment of surprise. I pointed out Brazil, where Miss Minouche & Mr. Delfim are from. She saw the flag of Canada & yelled out "Kerri is there!" And we watched. Then the Chinese delegates marched out on the field. And it happened. "Mama! That's MY country!" And her smile? Huge! She asked if the Olympians were from where she is from. She was so proud to see the people of China marching in with pride & joy on their faces. She even shushed us!
Thanks to the 2012 Olympics, Erin may finally decide that China is a place of beauty. I sure hope so.