Whenever someone asks me where I'm from, I never know just how to answer that question. I was born in and spent grade school in California, went to junior high and high school in Missouri, attended college in Delaware, and then moved back to Missouri for a couple of years, followed by two years in Colorado. In 2000, I moved to Minnesota, where I have been for the past twelve years. If I had only thought to register for frequent flyer miles years ago.
Since I've lived in Minnesota the longest, does that make me a Minnesotan by default? Does the fact that I pronounce the word "food" like it has eleven Os in it and walk out of the house without a jacket when it's 40 degrees make me a Minnesotan? Or does the fact that I don't play "Duck, Duck, Grey Duck" or call soda "pop" mean that I'm not?
Regardless of whether or not I know how to answer the "Where are you from?" question, I know that both of my children are, without a doubt, Minnesotans. When Cara and I were shopping when she was about 2 and she pointed at something and said, "kyoooote!" (That's how we say "cute" up here.) It was right then that at it dawned on me that I was the owner of a true Minnesotan.
In a few short months, we will be trying on a new accent. Craig was offered a wonderful opportunity in Fort Worth, Texas and, after the kids finish up the school year, we will be joining him out there. While we are sad to leave, it's also very exciting to be embarking on a new chapter in our lives.
Both Craig and I have been where the kids will be in a few months (he was about Cara's age when he moved from San Antonio to Colorado). New house, new state, new people, new culture. There's bound to be teasing. There may be even a few exaggerated impressions of accents. But I'm sure we'll keep our "Howdy, Pardners" to a minimum, dontchaknow?