Sunday, July 18, 2010
I'm often asked if I miss home. I take that as being if I miss my country. The two are separate for me. I came into true adulthood in Rio de Janeiro. My children were born here and are being raised here. I found myself here.
Do I miss home? I can't say that. Rio de Janeiro is my home. Do I miss the US being my home? Maybe.
What I do miss is not needing translation. I miss not having to explain myself, or not having the lack of words to describe a feeling or an event. I miss having a conversation with someone who just gets what I mean.
You go through life saying everyone is the same. We are all just people. But we are a product of our nature. We take a little something from everywhere we've been.
I miss some of the nature of where I've been. It kills me that I don't share the same nature with my children. I was not raised in the same place. My most cherished memories have nothing to do with theirs. No matter how hard I try to bring my traditions in, and make our own family traditions, it's overshadowed by where we are. There's not much you can do about that. We do not move from place to place. We are not nomads like so many foreign families in Brazil. We are here. We have family here. This is their childhood.
It hit me when I had to explain to my 3 year old what a dandelion is. It was in a movie. I had forgotten that memory. Seeing the seeds of the dandelion fly into the air. Making the wish. Blowing as hard as I could so that every seed would fly and my wish would come true. My son, growing up in a big city in Brazil, couldn't understand. All I could tell him was that I'd find him one when we go back and show him. And I will, because it's magical.
We don't want to say that where we are from makes a difference. We'd all like to believe we are self-made and decide what does and does not impact who we are. But there are things that stick. I sometimes miss people with the same glue and the same dandelion seeds stuck to it.