Thursday, June 14, 2007

You're Beautiful: A Reflection of Pride

It was the week of Cultural Day and I was taking Peyton home from school. She said they were making beaded necklaces in class and then she asked, "Mommy, teacher wants to know what I am so that I can share something with my class. What am I?" It dawned on me that we had never really put much thought into explaining to our children "what" they were. Why should we? Culture is something they should experience and absorb, not something delegated. Tony and Hope were never told their heritage and yet they know that they are Caucasian and Mexican and Chamorro. It is important to us that they know this, but not that we teach it to them. They are exposed to their heritage and the cultures all around our islands. This is enough, no? But, what will Peyton say when she goes to school? "Mommy, what am I?" I turned to my daughter, "When teacher asks you what you are, say you are Peyton Ha'ani Reyes Gomez. You are beautiful."

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