Saturday, October 17, 2009

Our Canadian Baby

When we first moved to Canada four years ago, Mom said, "Don't leave without having some Canadian babies." While this may have been just another way of saying, "Give me grandchildren" we realized there was something to the idea. To be accurate, I realized she made a good point; Andrew, four years ago said, "I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that." My father, more advanced than Andrew in this vein of husbandry said, "Huh? What did she say?"

While someone brought up the idea that our child could later be annoyed by complicated immigration lines as they sort out what they want to be; I am pleased to offer the baby a choice of nationalities. Our child, who should according to plan, be born in Canada will automatically become Canadian, but will have the option of being a US citizen because he or she is born to US citizens. The US no longer allows people to hold a dual citizenship or things would be really easy. So, as I understand it, "Jonah" will have to choose at some point in life.

I'm also thrilled to have access to the great health care system Canada offers. While this may be hard to believe given some of the information that is being passed out in the States these days, I find the Canadian health care system to be fantastic. I have never had a long wait. While in the US, I was asked to wait 3 weeks to see a doctor for the UTI I had - I told them he could meet me in the hospital and they could go ahead and call it a kidney infection since it would be that, by then. I also don't have long fights with the insurance company ahead of me. I just visit my midwife and my doctor and go (I don't even have a co-pay to consider). I will step down from my little soapbox here, but I wanted to defend the Canadians a bit - they have taken good care of us.

There are other advantages - our child as a Canadian will always be thought of as being polite. Everyone knows all Canadians are polite. Our child will be better adapted to cold - or is going to learn pretty quick since March doesn't yet mean that we're done with snow and winter. The government encourages the growth of the country by providing lovely tax credits and regular funding for children. If schooled here, French immersion programs are standard in public schools, so we can have a bi-lingual kid. Andrew is qualified for some great paternity leave. Our town is also quite kid- friendly and Jonah will join with two other babies at church who are expected, one, pretty much on the same day.

Jonah already has displayed some Canadian roots by disliking spicy Mexican food - a delicious and hot lunch at L&J's in El Paso led to a unpleasant evening. Who knows, maybe Jonah will even say "eh" without being ironic?

There is one thing that will help Jonah feel like a real Canadian in spite of American parents. We can always look forward to saying (as many other Canadians have said before us I'm sure), "You were born the year your Daddy's favorite hockey team won the Stanley Cup." (There's no need to do the math, but playoffs end in June.)

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