Today M celebrated his second Easter here in the states. This year was much celebratory than last year for some reason. The kids had an Easter egg hunt yesterday and today family and friends celebrated the resurrection of Christ. I watch M closely at this gathering.
Even though he’s been here for almost two years I find that he is still a bit hesitant around my family, my mother specifically. Watching the two of them is like watching two birds doing a delicate dance. My mother swears she still has problems understanding him sometimes even though M’s English is fluent. She’s still trying to feel him out to see if there is a motive behind him marrying her daughter. M on the other hand is simply sitting in the shadows watching. I know this because after every family gathering, he peppers me with questions about what happened and who said what.
Even after two years the conversation between M and my mom usually consists of no more than two or three sentences at a time and they are always the same. This, even as she says he’s her favorite son-in-law and how good he is with the kids.
I think we will always be this way with each of our families. When I’m around M’s family I always struggle to find something to talk about other than the weather or everyone’s health. I sometimes dream of the camaraderie that both families could have if everyone was open to learning about the other’s culture. I’m trying to convince my family to go to India with us later this year so that both families can meet and begin to embrace one another’s lifestyles. So far, I’m being met with resistance. It’s easier for my family to go there than M’s family to come here.
One of the things that frustrates me about my culture the most is the lack of desire to see and experience the world. Many African Americans are hesitant about going outside of the country. Often this is connected to fear of the unknown. We’re afraid of violence or constantly worried something bad may happen. Then there’s the assumption that traveling outside of the country is too expensive to ever be able to afford. I’m by no means wealthy but I’ve seen parts of the world others only see on television and the memories associated with those trips are something I wouldn’t trade for the world. Now I can’t sit still long without having some type of trip up my sleeve. If I can offer a piece of advice to everyone afraid to travel, it would be to always keep your options open. Take the opportunity to explore the world and its inhabitants around you. It can only serve to help you grow as a person.
Even if my family does not decide to travel with us later this year, I still hope that we can get the two families together soon to celebrate in one big reception. Until then M and I are like the mainland to two very different islands.
I’d like to know more about you my readers…where have you traveled to or where would you like to travel to if you could go anywhere in the world with no costs? How did you find the blog? M and I are hoping to hear from you soon. Until the next blog….