The Frau joined a German Spielgruppe in Chicago. Ja, ja. She did it so Toddler M could continue her German, but instead The Frau continues her German while all the Kinder run around speaking English.
C’est la vie, yodelers. However, you’ll be pleased to know that Toddler M still yells “nein” at a good portion of kids in the US, although she saves her “neins” for the American children at the local library instead of the ones at the Spielgruppe. Kids these days.
Anyway, The Frau digresses. One of the benefits of being in the Chicago Spielgruppe is that they organize events around holidays The Frau is familiar with.
Unlike Halloween, which ended up feeling almost as foreign as Sechselaueten used to, The Frau knew Lanternenfest. She celebrated it last year with Toddler M’s Kinderkrippe.
|Toddler M's lantern|
But of course, The Frau was new to the German-American version of Lanternenfest.
This version included:
-Battery-lit candles. (What? A lack of open flames around toddlers? The Frau tried to gracefully adjust to the safety standards of her own country, but it wasn’t without a feeling of loss for the excitement the open flames used to add to the event.)
-Kids spoke English while parents spoke back to them in German.
-The parade route was a pathed walking trail that went over an American highway. (The Frau tried to imagine there were some cobblestones, but that was difficult with the sound of traffic, yodelers.)
-A potluck buffet filled with hot dogs and hot chocolate. The Frau thought she’d fit in by bringing Birchermüsli, but barely anyone ate that. They all wanted hot dogs and tortilla chips. Live and learn, yodelers. Next time The Frau will make sloppy joes.
Anyway, it’s almost time for Thanksgiving and only time will tell whether it will feel as foreign to The Frau as Halloween did. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a x-mas present about fitting in and not fitting in, check out The Frau’s book, Swiss Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known. It would make a great gift. Even if The Frau is a little biased.