For some odd and probably strange, exotic reason I have always wanted to marry a foreigner. I have had a few crushes in my day and since being in a multicultural organization I have usually fallen head over heals for some wacky English-as-a second-language individual. I have always favored the idea of raising my kids cross culturally or learning another language in order to communicate to my spouse. Well, I never had to do that with Matt but I do remember, in the beginning, when I wasn’t full-on into crush mode with him, I would feel attracted to him whenever he spoke French or when his family came around for a visit. I just liked that they could do something most people around them couldn’t and their culture made them unique in the midst of the ‘typical American’ culture in the Midwest.
Well, we got married and Matt rarely speaks a lick of French, which really is ok with me. I didn’t marry him because he could. But I still am very proud of the fact that our children have relatives in another country and that their heritage is foreign as well as domestic.
Today we went to Matt’s father’s to see his second cousins who are visiting from Switzerland. I listened quietly in the corner as they all chatted and caught up with one another in French. Because our kids don’t speak it I think Oliver found it frustrating. He even went in the bathroom to sit on the toilet (seat down) and put his chin in his hands while he huffed. I asked him what was wrong and he said, “I don’t want to go out because they just keep speaking French”.
Even though he may not grow up speaking his father’s mother tongue I am thankful that our kids have a Swiss heritage. I’m still impressed that I married into a Swiss family with a heritage of fine food, wines, chocolates and many prompt individuals. I am thankful for the extension and the colour they add to my life.