This is one of my favorite pictures of my parents - it was taken shortly after their engagement in 1963 - and is a perfect depiction of a young couple, living in America, at that time.
Except, they weren't American citizens.
My parents immigrated during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and met for the first time here, in New Jersey, on a blind date.
They carried green cards, worked whatever jobs they could get and learned to speak English by listening to radio commercials and watching television show, like and Gunsmoke and Bonanza.
Except, they were more like:
They did, eventually, take their oath of citizenship, were pardoned by the Hungarian government and allowed to go back in 1966.
But, by that time, my father's mother passed away and both my parents will tell you that it just no longer seemed like home.
Having lived through one of the darkest periods in their lives, and having tasted freedom, it was hard to look back.
Instead, they focused on the future and raising their children in their adopted homeland, without ever losing respect for their heritage.
It wasn't easy.
History hasn't been kind to their generation - ask anyone over the age of 60 and they'll tell you - wars were fought, right in the middle of the streets, and growing up in of suburbia back in the 60's and 70's meant that anyone with an accent, or different-colored skin, was suspect.
I would like to think that time's have changed.
Unfortunately, my children (and perhaps, your children) come home from school with stories of how their friends think that anything (and EVERYTHING) OTHER kids wear, see, say or do, that is different, is weird.
Thankfully, I'm good with weird.
What's really strange is that my husband Garth (not his real name) and I come from very different backgrounds - he's a little bit New England and I'm more, you know, old world - and yet, when it comes to raising our children, it's sort of nice that we can STILL agree on so many things.
Garth (not his real name) is more conservative, where as I tend to lean toward the...well, yes, but he/she/it/oh, and they have a very good point, there, too...side of the political arena.
I guess it doesn't help to have kids running around the house - really, can't they just STOP - you see, I've grown quite used to living...well...in a state of confusion.
Did I mention, we live in New Jersey?
Don't even get me started on education - I'll take sending 4 kids to college for nearly nothing, Alex!
What, with a houseful of unfinished renovation projects - not to mention, the new dryer is broken (still) - navigating through all the rhetoric can get tiresome.
Then, I would start reading someone's blog, follow a few links, engage in a couple of comments and its, like, what's up with inflation?
Aaaaaanyway...moving on to my next order of business.
My January Perfect Post Award goes to Liz, over at Mom 101, for her post, Skip This One if You've Got and Elephant Bumper Sticker on the SUV.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mom 101 (for the first time) during a round table discussion with other NYC area bloggers. No, I don't know how they found ME, or why they had ME there, in the first place, and I never really tried to figure it out, really. But, I'm sure Liz remembers. Because, I jumped her in the elevator - SO embarrassing - but, I lived through it (you're welcome, Liz) and even blogged about it.
Quite frankly, I was excited to be invited and already a fan of Cool Mom Picks (hi Kristen, good luck with the baby Julie) she's a very well-received blogger and often lauded for her writing abilities. Perhaps many of you will understand how I couldn't help but feel intimidated by all her, you know, coolness.
You know what?
She's really, really smart, too!
[ducks head to avoid the gaze of sheer genius]
This election is very, very confusing for me (I know, just act surprised, okay) and next to Dana's BlogHer piece on Obama, I believe that Liz' post really helped me understand to see passed all the negative spin and know that it's okay that I look so, you know, confused.
Reading her post, I found exactly what it is I should be looking for in my president and, in hindsight, my response sounds so weird...I mean, different...though, there were OTHER people (you know, really, really smart bloggers) who seemed just as confused and thank goodness my comment was buried in a thread of, like, over 100 others, and still counting.
But, she was (and is) incredibly kind and reading her personal blog has been a constant source of inspiration.
As in, maybe, I'm not such a dork, after all!
Politically speaking, I mean.
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