No matter where in the world you were raised, your country and it’s culture will inevitably shape who you are and most likely determine how you raise your kids. I was born and raised in Canada and am absolutely certain, that I owe most of what I do right with my kids, to my Canadian roots.
Below is a list of things that I attribute to being Canadian and as such, am deliberately passing onto my American children.
1. The Ability to Apologize – It’s a pretty well known fact that when it comes to saying ‘sorry’, no one does it better than Canadians. I am not afraid to admit when I’ve done something wrong, and everyday my kids are learning to apologize when they too, are in the wrong. Some people may think that it makes me weak but I think the ability to take responsibility for your mistakes is a sign of strength and I’m not going to apologize for it. Or wait, I am. No. I’m confused. Sorry about that. Shit.
2. Wholesome Family Values – Some of Canada’s biggest success stories are singer/songwriters of children’s music. Anne Murray, Raffi and Sharon, Lois & Bram are the poster children for wholesome family values and their music fills our home on a regular basis. My kids know how to Skinamarink-e-dink-e-dink like a pros, how important it is to Walk, Walk, Walk to School and why you should always call your Daddy if there’s a Hippo In the Bathtub. Things that are important when so many kids these days are only learning from Miley how to Come In Like a Wrecking Ball.
3. Perseverance & Commitment – Despite the fact that the Stanley Cup hasn’t been won by a Canadian team in 21 years, our boys (and girls) go back every four years and win gold for their country. On a similar note, the Toronto Maple Leafs have not won a Stanley Cup in 47 years but tickets to the games are consistently sold out long before the season starts and on average, cost $500 a piece for regular season games. If that’s not perseverance & commitment I don’t know what is.
4. An Appreciation of Fine Foods – Canada is not exactly known for it’s faire but my kids have already been introduced to the orgasmic nature of Crispy Crunch and Aero Bars, Ketchup Chips and of course, our National Treasure; Tim Hortons.
5. A Sense of Adventure – I spent a good portion of my childhood at our family cottage on Lake Huron and every summer my kids return there to live like the natives. Because of that, they will learn how to water ski, play kick the can, and drink beer with their cousins two years before they can legally drink at home which, if nothing else, will just make them cool amongst their American friends.
6. A Sense of Humor – Growing up on Kids in the Hall and SCTV instills a certain sense of humor in all of us, but you really have no choice but to laugh when winter lasts for 10 months of the year and the summer brings such humidity that even the geese are starting to say “F@%k it, I’m not goin’ back”.
7. Tolerance – A trait so ingrained in the fabric of who we are that after all of Bieber’s bullshit, we still haven’t asked for his passport back. If nothing else, I want my kids to possess that kind of love and understanding for others.
So to the country that gave me the Roots & Wings I make use of every day and the place that after 14 years away, I still call home…Thank you.