I am not joking you when I say that when we walked through the customs door this week at O’Hare airport, I looked at one of the TV screens in a bar on the way to the restroom and there was Lee Greenwood singing “Proud To Be An American.” It’s funny how at that moment before I even heard the song I literally felt like falling to my knees and kissing the dirty, sticky ground. Glad I chose not to, but still…I got a little teary.
Every time I leave the country and come back, I am struck with a huge sense of patriotism. We live in the best country in the world. I can come and go as I please. I can drive. I can send my kids to any school I want to send them to. I can go to the grocery store and pick out healthy food for my family. I can drink water out of my kitchen faucet. I have ice in my refrigerator, and I can call an exterminator if mice are in my garage. I can vote.
I think traveling through India with my family has only increased my sense of love for my country. Living in India for a week or two on my own or with my husband is hard, but living in India with my 3 kids was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Would I do it again? In a second (as long as I remembered to bring twice as many snacks for them as I did).
Do I love India? More than ever. Travelling through India with my children awakened a whole new side of the Tamil people that I never could have seen unless I had my children with me. They are a loving, passionate, nurturing people. From the oldest Grandma to the youngest child, their love for my children astounded me. Even our driver who had his Hindu idols on the dashboard and didn’t crack a smile the entire week he drove us around was gravely concerned when Isabelle was so sick. The only words he spoke to me that whole week were , “Is she ok?”
The whole trip in my mind was like an epic tale. So many twists, turns, and plots. We were the characters being moved around by the hand of God, upheld by the people of God.
I’m proud to be an American, but prouder still that I am an American who loves and is truly loved by the Tamil people.