If it seems I post often about Emily becoming American it’s simply because there’s so much happening so fast now. Every day there’s something new. Like last night, Emily and I were sitting on the sofa talking and I noticed she’d picked up a new way of expressing herself which included both verbal and non-verbal components. A familiar form of communication coming from the body and mouth of a person I didn’t think could talk that way. My reaction would be no different if she’d walked into the room wearing cowboy boots and a Stetson. Such a shocking and sudden expression of America.
I asked Emily if she thought she was becoming American.She answered emphatically no. She told me that Americans are scary, even the nice ones, and that she prefers the mixed enclave of Asians whose world view resembles her own. Did we bring her over too late to make an American out of her? Or did we choose the wrong community with it’s safe and familiar pool of foreign nationals? Better perhaps we’d thrown her into the deep end in a community of “real Americans” as Emily likes to call them? No. not that. She’d already had too much of being different living in Japan.
I’m beginning to suspect Emily may never become a “real American” which identity is formed of a distinction already well rooted in her mind. Just like a Texan living in California may always feel like a Texan living in California.
I asked Yumiko if she thought Emily was becoming Japanese-American and she answered that Emily was becoming Asian-American; an observation I had missed, yet I suspect the most accurate forecast of things to come.