4th of July is one of my favorite holidays… all about family, community and abstract patriotic notions.
4th of July is also the holiday when I am most likely to embarrass my children– apparently, as they get older, it is no longer cool to dress up in red, white & blue and cheer wildly at the Girl Scout float in the parade, or to shriek and clap during fireworks.
4th of July is also one of my 2 favorite holidays to share with Au Pairs.
Although many of our au pairs have preferred to high-tail it into the nearest city for more grown-up partying and fancier fireworks, often they’ve spent the earlier part of the day with us — usually catching the ‘exciting to me, kinda boring to them’ town parade.
On the 4th, even more than during other times of the year, I find myself fielding random questions about the USA. I also find myself offering up what seem to me to be wise insights about the ways that our country works.
(Some recent winners have included trying to explain Sarah Palin as a VP candidate choice, how the electoral college works, why NASCAR exists, and why professional soccer just hasn’t caught on in the US.)
For us Host Parents, 4th of July creates an obvious opportunity for questions and conversations about being “American”. It’s a chance to catch up on some of the “cultural exchange” part of the au pairing experience.
So, over this holiday weekend, as you sneak inside the house for some quiet time at the computer and maybe a cold beer lemonade, want to tell us about a time you’ve tried to explain something really “American” to your au pair?