The 4th

By Published On: July 7th, 2016

America celebrated her 240th birthday a few days ago, and we […]

America celebrated her 240th birthday a few days ago, and we celebrated our first holiday together as a family in our new home. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It was Akira’s first 4th of July, and although he obviously has no idea what the holiday means, I’m pretty sure he still enjoyed the time we all spent together.
13585160_10153923963902326_4048928017976986231_oLet me tell you something: The bond between Akira and his sister is something I’m absolutely amazed by every time I see it in action. While Anaïs was away in Florida, we would FaceTime her 2 or 3 times a week, and whenever we did, Akira would reach for the screen as if he could actually touch her. It was beyond sweet. And now that she’s back, he can’t get enough of her. He really missed her! Her first day back was quite possibly one of the cutest. He wouldn’t stop leaning in to give her kisses, and he would also just rest his head on her shoulder. The best part is, the feeling is absolutely mutual. She has been telling him stories and making him smile. But something she does that none of us can even come close to mimicking is making Akira belly laugh. She’ll have her quirks and jokes that only he gets, and there have been moments when I’ve had to look over at him to make sure he isn’t crying because she makes him laugh that much.
This past weekend, we did more stuff around the house to get it in order. We also ventured out and went to the pool to cool off from the brutal heat that has descended upon Atlanta. I made burgers (which turned out great) and a berry pie (which turned out beautiful in appearance but terrible in taste), and we lit sparklers in the backyard. It felt like a dream—the house, the yard, the kids, the holiday. It made me reflect on what kind of a life we are giving our kids and what kind of a future they will have.
13559132_10153489988631899_7387361707011595079_o It made me really think about the America that we live in today and the people who make up this country. The American family that I envisioned when I was a kid looked very different from the reality of today. As a first generation American child, to be American meant to have long blonde hair and blue eyes, have a weekly allowance and eat mashed potatoes with dinner every night. It’s what I saw on television. It’s all I understood. But the truth is, my family is the American family. We are diverse and open and different and unconventional. And that is the world that my kids are growing up in. They’re not cookie-cutter kids in a cookie-cutter family. But that’s what makes them special. It’s what makes their world special, and I hope that they are able to celebrate all of the differences that make up who they are.
This 4th of July felt more meaningful to me than usual. The older I get, the more I think about the life I want our kids to have and how they can have it. I think Jesse and I are doing a pretty good job so far. Let’s hope we can keep it up.