American Baby

I walked into the boy’s bedroom yesterday morning and said, “Happy Gotcha Day!”? He looked at me as if I had 3 heads.? The kid had no clue.? My child knows he’s from Russia, he hears the “baby home” story often, but it doesn’t click in his little head yet that he is any different.? Let’s try to keep it that way, shall we?

I treated him to a healthy and nutritious what he asked for breakfast of fruity Cheerios.? Moreover, I didn’t feel like arguing with him when he asked for Daddy O’s for breakfast.? It was a special day.

My best friend Heather called to congratulate us on one year and that was pretty neat.? I talked to my mom too, but Heather was the only one who specifically called to wish us happys.? Ok, maybe she called to further finagle me into attending her sister’s Partylite party Friday night, but hey, who am I to complain?

The trusty husband and I decided that we would have dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant (I have yet to cook dinner this week, hence no menu).? So that meant I couldn’t do something special for dinner.? Ah Ha!? The trusty husband would be home for lunch.? I know, I’ll make our Gotcha Day dinner for lunch.? Our first dinner consisted of Pelmeni, soapy mashed potatoes (that I had to cook the snot out of and mash with a fork) and tinned peas.? It wasn’t much, but hey, I was in a tiny kitchen in Far East Siberia.? Cut me some slack.? Seeing as the last time I hand made pelmeni they didn’t turn out so hot I decided to take the boy on his first trip to the local Russian market.? I’ve been once since he got home, he’s never been.

We got to the market and the instant I walked in I was transported back to the little market by the playground in Khabarovsk.? Even the little cashier girl (named Sveta) wore a frilly blue apron.? I will never forget the smell of Russian markets.? The boy and I cruised around to check out what they had to offer, but I felt like they were all staring at me.? Why would this American violate our inner sanctum of Russian culture?? They are kind of an exclusive group here.? At one point I felt like holding up my child and saying, “Can I join your group?? See!? I have one!”? But when I listened to my child saying, “Mom, mom, mom, have cheese please,” I didn’t think they would believe me.?? I purchased my pelmeni (which I later over cooked, but were still yummy) and said Spaceeba to Sveta.? The look on her face was priceless.? She was a little stunned that, yes, the American spoke Russian.? “Oh! Pazhalsta,” she replied.

On our way home from the market we were stopped at a light and from the backseat I hear, “MOM! McDonalds!”? At that moment I knew my little Russian prince was more of an American than a Russian.? The little bits of Russia that I’ve tried to hold on to have slipped through my grasp.? I have a child who knows where the milk is at Starbucks, he can recognize the golden arches and he dances away to Little Einsteins.? Maybe some day he will appreciate the country he is from.? I’m not going to stop trying, that’s for darn sure.

6 Comment

  1. Jenny2 says: Reply

    No, never stop – it will be far more important to him when he’s older and you’re putting down the foundation now.

    BTW – I’m kind missing the menus… but glad you’re having happy dinners.. out!

  2. DebiP says: Reply

    we are on the same page…every day a little more of Russia slips away and more America slips in, but like you I am going to persevere. He will know and appreciate what Russia is…

  3. Jan Bartel says: Reply

    I was just re-reading the entry where you answer all the questions and we sure would love to see a little video of the boy singing. He has changed and grown so much from a year ago and it has been a joy to watch. Your blog is so well written and one that never fails to inform or entertain. Love & Hugs, Aunt Jan

  4. Yep, he’s an American boy with a beautiful Russian beginning.

  5. Mom says: Reply

    He’s an American now and he may or may not care about his beginnings. It’s appropriate to be honest but don’t be shocked if he could care less about your offerings of his past. Now being a Lindholm might be the only heritage he needs.

  6. What a cool way to celebrate Gotcha day, going to the Russian market. Now you’ve got me thinking how I might do something to make Zeeb’s anniversary special… thanks, just what I need, more pressure! LOL 😉

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