When we questioned her nationality the answer wasn’t quick, as she wasn’t sure. “American?” she whispered as though it was a trick question.
Sitting at the grandson’s baseball game, Papa and I had the rare chance to have one-on-one time with the 9-year-old granddaughter. Typically she’s either at a dance class or glued to the iPad. They had forgot to load their lawn chairs so her choices were to either sit on the bleachers or on Papa’s lap. After 15 minutes of bleacher seats she decided Papa’s lap would be a lot more comfortable.
I’m not even sure how we got on the subject but Papa was explaining how his great, great grandfather came here from Czechoslovakia. It seemed to be an interesting concept to her so then she wanted to know her mom’s and my nationality. After explaining it all to her she said, “but we’re all American right?”
It’s sad to think a good majority of us are not smarter than a fourth grader. The granddaughter could see the simple truth in a just a matter of minutes - we all have different nationalities, beliefs, colors and creeds, but we are all Americans. You would think that would be enough to stop us in our tracks and get a grip on the constant bashing going on about races and nationalities.
Fourth of July, the day for celebrating our freedom, comes with many costs. Not only the sacrifices from our military but from our forefathers who came to this country, not so long ago, to claim it as their home. I bet the majority of us could trace it back to just a few generations of when the family immigrated to the land of the free.
What do our children and grandchildren think about what’s going on in this land of ours today? Sometimes I worry the world is going to hell in a handbasket and we will leave them with nothing but trouble when our generation passes the baton. Sometimes, if I stop worrying long enough to see the world through the eyes of my grandchildren, I realize it’s still brimming with all of the goodness I believed it held before technology surrounded me with a running stream of bad news.
Watching the grandson dig his heels in the dirt, bounce the bat off home plate a couple of times and then hear the crack of the ball being hit into centerfield is the true epicenter of Fourth of July for me. Some days I have to disconnect from society, put down the iPhone and enjoy the sparkling eyes of a 9-year-old learning about her ancestry or seeing the smile of a dirt covered boy hitting a triple.
I hope your Independence Day finds you free from the world of technology so you can enjoy your freedom. I’m going to embrace mine and play with the grandkids.
Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at email@example.com