I was told that once I came to
I would never want to leave. Companies expect their ex-pats to want to stay, certainly to extend their time here and be resistant to a move. It is the lifestyle America affords: Bigger house, bigger car and bigger teeth! I lack commitment. My home was big enough for my family in the America , my car was nice enough and I like the fact that my teeth don’t double up as glow sticks in the dark! UK
I’m not sure if it is the commitment or enthusiasm I lack but I am resistant to any real assimilation!
My son is desperate to fit in here. To do so fully there are certain things he must have or do:
1) He must have an allergy. He asks me almost daily what he is allergic to and is so disappointed when I remind him that he isn’t allergic to anything! He came close to getting his wish today! I got a call from the school nurse. He had complained of chest pains and shortness of breath. He had been running in 28ºC weather and not had water. I didn’t feel compelled to take him to ER! They are a bit over zealous here. They would have been performing open heart surgery as soon as they got hold of my medical insurance card! As it happened we had a trip to the doctors arranged. A final written warning that if I didn’t get my children vaccinated against hepatitis A, they would be excluded from school compelled me to find a doctor, just 6 months after moving. They didn’t need Hep A in
. In fact, according to the internet, it is a vaccine usually given only to people travelling to third world countries with low standards of hygiene ,druggies, homosexuals …and Texans! I think it is because of their proximity to North Carolina or the Republican fear of all of the above that makes it compulsory in Mexico . They certainly don’t travel anywhere! The Doctor justified its necessity because ‘Americans like oysters’. He was Chinese. I think he was politely saying they eat shit! Before getting the jab I asked the Doctor to check him. He listened to his chest, asked me if he had asthma (to which I said NO) and prescribed a spray for him to use! I politely declined! He was so poorly, my son came home and jumped fully clothed into a freezing pool! He hasn’t got a nut allergy! He is a nut! I foiled his opportunity to queue at the nurse’s office for whatever drug each kiddie is plied with to feel special! I can’t commit! Texas
2) He must be on the swim team. Every neighbourhood in
Azalea Lane has a swim team linked to the community pool. In theory it is a great way to get children swimming more and competitively. My son swims like a dolphin! Literally – he swims below water, surfacing for air. He has no technique other than natural ability. He would benefit from swim team. In reality swim team is 6 weeks of hell… for me! A swim practice every night (different times for different ages so I could be there for hours with two of them), a swim meet every week where they race against another club (but everyone is a winner) that goes on til the early hours of the morning to fit all the races in. The Moms have to be time keepers and pizza fetchers. I cant commit
3) He must participate in an American sport. Read swim team and replace week days with whole weekends, often in different counties 100’s of miles away for matches and games (where scores are not shared for fear of upsetting the losing team! Everyone’s a winner). The thought of having to ever sit though another moment of baseball fills me with dark thoughts of self harm. I cant commit!
4) He must embrace all school projects like his life depended upon them! Schools set big homeworks that require an immense amount of parental involvement and expense. My daughter’s science project took me ages and unlike all other mothers I didn’t actually do it all! I made her do the experiment and all the work was in her own words. I just helped with the art work. We experimented on dropping eggs out of the upstairs window with various protective wrappers. My son thought it was just an egg throw and proceeded to chuck eggs onto the garage roof. The stains are still there! The cat was photographed inspecting a cracked egg. She (me) labelled her ‘the adjudicator’. My daughter’s teacher asked her what one was. I do hope she was testing her and not puzzled herself. We went to the Science Fayre. I was really chuffed when I saw my daughter had got ‘first prize’ till I realised about a third had got the same! Everyone’s a winner! The greater the parental involvement, the greater the ranking. Those kids who had done everything themselves got third prize! I asked one boy with first prize what his very complicated graphs demonstrated. He said ‘I don’t know, my mom didn’t tell me’. The over all winner was suitably nerdy looking. While other kids had washed stained socks in different detergents or grown sees, he had carried out rocket science. He was sat by himself on the ‘peanut free table’ They use it at lunch for the ‘allergy’ kids…no nuts there! Will my son ever make it to the nut free table for his contribution to science or through medical malady? I can’t commit!
5) He must go to church because kids are so busy all week doing a ridiculous number of clubs, sports, activities and extra tutoring they don’t have time for friends. They have to go to church so that they have a friend in Jesus! I can’t commit!
With such a lack of commitment we are fast approaching the time when we have to make some decisions about what we do next if we do not stay here. Visas expire! This time next year we could be back in the
. I might have to find a job and go back to work. We could be asked to go somewhere cold! UK
Lying on the sun lounger next to the pool in glorious sunshine reflecting on this I suddenly can’t remember what it is I am having difficulty committing to. I know I have a busy week ahead …swim meet, collect anti-histamines from drive through pharmacy on the way to next game, oh and I have a really exciting robot project to work on…We are blessed! Thank you Jesus!