Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Anglification of Jenn

I have no idea if "anglification" is an actual word. Probably not, since Blogger adds red squiggly lines under the word. That is rarely a good sign, grammatically speaking. For the purposes of this posting, however, could we all agree to accept its existence?

Okay. Good. I will assume that you are in agreement if you've continued to read this far.

As background, you should understand that I was raised by a mother who was very proud of her Irish and Cherokee heritage. I knew about the Irish struggle for independence at a rather young age for a girl raised in the American South. As a matter of fact, I suspect that by the time I was 8 or 9, I could tell passersby about Bloody Sunday, the Great Hunger and the Trail of Tears. (After tonight, my son can now do the same in regards to the Irish pieces of our past...but more about that in just a bit.)

At any rate, my small forays into genealogy never revealed English blood in my heritage and I've stood by that claim, although it's notable to point out that I also never dug any deeper into my bloodlines. (Yes, I'm part Welsh on my father's side but I never considered that to be "English," especially after watching the movie The Englishman Who Walked Up a Hill and Came Down A Mountain. Grand piece of cinema, that.)

My daughter (my red-haired, freckled, passionate daughter) spent the last week at soccer camp where she was assigned to the "English" team. Because of that, she now wants an English soccer jersey and wants to cheer for England all the time. As we sat in a pub tonight (well, the American version of a pub - the Lion and Rose), eating English food for the first time ever - she went on about how much she loved England and I tried to shut it down before coming to my senses and remembering that we are, in fact, living in 2010. And the English government just this week apologized for Bloody Sunday.

Between the scrumptious fish and chips my daughter ordered, the rather tasty pastie I simply had to try after reading so much about them in Harry Potter, and - OF COURSE - the apology, I decided that the time has come for me to bury the to speak. I suppose our children really do teach us how to let go. If my daughter is in love with England for the time being, who am I to disagree with her? So, I found a way to embrace my new acceptance of the English as I scarfed down half a pastie and half a bubble & squeak (sort of a latke made of mashed potatoes).

That didn't stop me from giving my son a succinct history lesson about the Great Hunger during our drive home. It is, after all, the reason the McCourts (my maternal line) came to America and I think he should know of it.

Knowing my daughter and her ability to introduce the unexpected into my life, she'll probably end up marrying an Englishman. With my luck, it will be a member of the aristocracy. Yikes. I suppose that will be fine as long as he brings a wicked bread pudding recipe to the family.

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