It's All Greek To Me
My Eponine once clearly told me she did not want her blog to be political. That said, please know this post is not intended to be political but a reflection of my history.
My grandparents never learned English. They only spoke Spanish. As a kid, I was thrilled when I heard them say English words like taco, enchilada or margarita. I also was amazed that their little dog, Freddie, understood Spanish commands and English. I remember lying on the floor and getting on an eye-to-eye level with him, totally quizzing him to see if he really could understand English. I would get all excited and tell my mom that he could understand English.
I also remember showing off and singing my school songs. Like "My Country Tis Of Thee" and the U.S. National Anthem. My grandparents did sing along with me. In Spanish. This was in the early '70s.
My grandparents were born in the U.S., had U.S. passports and paid U.S. taxes. They never had "good" jobs, but they always worked. They also proudly waved a U.S. flag. I'm not certain when or who immigrated. Which ancestors. But at some point it did likely occur. I also don't know if it was done legally. Our family tree doesn't have too many roots. Just limbs.
My mom has an accent. In junior high and high school I had friends that would mimic her. In a loving way. They weren't being rude. However, she has endured name calling and stereotypes. But, she has always worked, raised kids, attended and participated in church, paid taxes, and always has voted. She's never learned to drive though, and has never had a state-issued ID.
Now, at almost 80, she may no longer be able to vote because of a lack of an ID. The name on her birth certificate of course is not the same as her married name. Can't seem to find the marriage license, but we are working to find the divorce decree from the early 1970s to show that she was in fact married and that her name really is her name. She's only had it for the last five or so decades.
I'm not for folks "illegally" entering the U.S. Now, learning the English language requirement I find a little hyocritical. I know way too many Americans who, um, can barely speak English. Sometimes it's almost impossible to understand some of these folks. There are times I'm not even certain I understand our president when he is speaking in "English." I think to myself, "What did he say?"
Occasionally I feel guilty being such an Oklahoma State fan while living in Missouri. I think that someone might say, "if you love it so much, why don't you live there?" I do love my home state, but fully have no desire to live there. My heritage is mine, though, and OSU stuff is proudly donned in front, around, and inside my Missouri home. It's on my car too. And, although I've lived here for almost 17 years, I still haven't learned to speak correctly. I don't say Masoura. It's Missouri to me. Hope they'll let me stay.
These are interesting times we are living in. Every generation likely has said that. It'll be fascinating to see how history will record these times. One thing for sure, I'm glad the cat blogging community can include a Cowboy, who still loves and misses his Eponine.