Along the way, Paul and I have made many comments about how things are here in Mexico. Giant hole in the middle of the paved road..."Bienvenidos a Mexico (Welcome to Mexico)". Appointment at 9am that doesn't arrive until 10...."Bienvenidos a Mexico". 4 way or 2 way stop intersections with absolutely no street signs...."Bienvenidos a Mexico".
Typically, these are said in a laissez faire kind of attitude or even an implication that, yes, things seems somewhat backward compared to life in the US.
However, the other day one of the kids made a comment about something that was similar but implied that the situation in Mexico was negative and the US was better. That really gave me pause. I started to think about that things that I typically comment about and although they are definitely strange or different from what we are used to in the US they are the things that make Mexico different and I LOVE that Mexico is different.
So I had a conversation with Paul a couple days ago while we were driving (the kids were all listening) about what our words are conveying to the kids. He agreed that our words are conveying the wrong message and that we do like (or have learned to be fine with) a lot of the things that make Mexico so different from the US. We refer the way things are done here and want the kids to see the difference as positive instead of negative. We LOVE Mexico and we may possibly live here someday.
So, we have adopted a new phrase! When we encounter one of these very familiar moments or situations, instead of the negative sounding "Bienvenidos a Mexico" we have switched to "Viva Mexico!". We want to verbalize our appreciation for the things that make this country so different from its northern neighbor.
The kids chimed in that they like the differences too and want to talk about it in a "good" way. Of course we were pleased that they really got what we were talking about.
This was just one of those many times when your kids teach you. I am proud to be in the company of such good teachers!