We are beyond obsessed with the Olympics around here. I forget that every two years, my world basically comes to a halt and between the opening ceremonies and the closing ceremonies, I live, eat, breathe, discuss, watch nothing but the Olympics. The kids are up early watching highlights…and are up late re-watching races and matches and floor exercises and medal ceremonies. And I couldn’t derive more pleasure than I do, realizing that I have birthed and raised Olympic fans.
I mean, sure, some of my obsession is a bit on the silly side, especially when I sit here and type it out. But, you know, sometimes you need to read articles about a certain American rower’s non-boner boner (*cough*Â Henrik Rummel *cough*) and how the guy won a medal at the olympics, but will be remembered for his, um, appearance at the medal ceremony. And sometimes you need to watch video and just feel for the poor guy named Feck who landed on his back in his dive, and, you know, sometimes you just need to walk around all, “OH FECK!” and laugh like a hyena and pretend that you are not 34 years old and the mother of three children. And sometimes you need to write articles about Ryan Lochte’s one-night standsÂ and how you really don’t even care that he is kind of…erm…simple and that he likes women who wear white pants and that he likes to wear expensive diamond-encrusted mouth grills.
And sometimes the editor in you just needs to argue about that Olympic song that they play on CTV all the livelong day. You know, that lovely little Nikki Yanofksy jaunty tuneÂ which is all well and good until Nikki flawlessly sings that she believes in the power of YOU AND I. Really?Â You should know, however, that I still cry like a wee baby every single time I hear it. I believe in the power of bad grammar in olympic songs, I guess?
But beyond the silly, there’s this little naggy something that comes up each Olympic games.
I am American.Â
I am Canadian.
I was born in Wisconsin. I lived in the US until I was an adult. I still vote in US elections. I still carry a United States passport. I believe that Girl Scout Cookies have magical powers. I am Mama, not Mummy.
I live in Toronto. My children carry Canadian passports. I vote in Canadian elections. I happily partake in my free health care. I have lived in Canada for 14 years. I know what a toque is.
Now, in my everyday life, it’s easy to be both American and Canadian.
I can love America at the very same time as I love Canada. I can sing the praises of Dunkin’ Donuts in the same breath as the praises of Tim Hortons. I can carry loonies and toonies in the same wallet as I carry my dollar bills. I can enjoy both the Canadian Kit Kats AND the US Kit Kats. I can celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in October and then celebrate US Thanksgiving in November (You get a turkey dinner! And you get a turkey dinner!). I can tell temperature in Fahrenheit ANDÂ Celsius. I can write favorite and favourite. It’s possible to love both; to feel at home at both; to embrace my dual citizenship with pride. And I really, truly feel both American and Canadian at any given time.
Until I find myself watching an Olympic soccer match.Â And regardless of dirty plays and bad calls, I cannot help but root for the red, white, and blue.
Until I find myself watching an American Olympian standing on the podium as the star spangled banner plays behind him.Â And not matter how hard I try, I cannot help but cry patriotic crocodile tears. No mascara for me during the Olympic games; lesson learned.
It’s very clear to me that no matter how much I love Canada, no matter how many extra Us I throw into my writing, no matter how much I feel Canadian…I really am an American.
And I believe I will always be.
And it’s not just because Canadian milk comes in bags.