Culture, defining moments, and my daughter.
2013 is an hour old and I find myself reflecting on the events of the last week and a bit of my Christmas break. Finding myself back in the culture in which I grew up, from an extended time outside of that culture, I find myself noticing things. Things that maybe I would not have noticed if not for my other-culture experience.
Like my daughter winning the almond in our family’s Danish Christmas tradition of mixing an almond into the bowl of rice pudding. Like walking into a music festival with my daughter (at 5 years old) and watching her dancing to the strains of an Australian music legend. Like clinging on to a giggling Ms K as she (and I) negotiated the waves of the Pacific Ocean together for the first time.
Watching my daughter experience these things for the first time has made me feel something that I am having difficulty putting into words.
It has forced me to reflect on what it is that constitutes “me”. And to be honest, I have been surprised at how emotionally I have responded to these recent moments. I have always known that these things are important to me – family traditions, live music, surfing – but until these last few weeks where I have for the first time experienced each of them with my daughter, I have not understood how largely they frame “me”.
So what will define my daughter? How will being born in Thailand, toddling in Laos, pre-schooling in Saudi Arabia, schooling in who-knows-where and doing whatever from wherever after that, define her moments?
Granted, it is a big question to ask, more rhetorical than literal, but worth asking all the same. Culture, defining moments, what’s important!
And now nearly two hours into a new year, as I contemplate resting my weary head upon my pillow, I know what I will be pondering as my eyes close.
Culture, defining moments and my daughter.