“You are an immigrant Mommy…is that mean you can’t come to America?”
There’s a concern in his tone. A frown showed up as he tries to make sense of his new elected president.
“Well…technically I am no longer an immigrant, Alex. I once was when we were still living there until you were 2 years old.”
He searched my face for more answer.
“But right now, for the time being, we will not be living in America. We are living here in Indonesia. Of course, one day if we want to, we may come there for a visit to see your Grandparents, your Uncle Greg, and his family also your brothers.”
“But Trump won’t let you come because you are not American!”
“I’m sure it will all be alright when the time comes. Let’s not worry until then ok? With the right paper works, of course, I can still come with you. I will need a visa first.”
“What’s a visa, Mommy? How come you don’t have one?”
“A visa is like a permit to visit a country. Every country has different rules when it comes to visa. I don’t have one after my conditional resident permit ended.”
Then I went on to explain what a green card is, how I got one in the first place many years ago while I was still married to his father. Of how I returned the card post-divorce.
My almost 10 year old boy was worried that his mother, a non-US citizen may not be able to go to America with him one day. He overheard the news while I watched the whole campaign and how Trump has been voted in as president of the United States.
“Why is he so angry all the time?” was his first question when he asked who Trump is.
Being a mother to a dual citizenship child, I have been following the whole election period. Why? Because my son is an American citizen. Whoever won the election will have a lasting impact on his future in one way or another.
Yes, we are living thousands of miles away from America but trust me, being a third world country citizen what happens in America will greatly impact everyone. I still vividly remember how scary it was post the September 11 tragedy. I was working in a hotel in Jakarta and an emergency plan was set in place because a hardline Muslim group was sweeping hotels looking for American citizens after the attack.
Being of the minority religion in Indonesia (I am a Christian) any time there’s a religious uproar going on in my country, we are living in danger to say the least. So Trump’s anti-Muslim propaganda will greatly impact everyone. With Indonesia being the most Muslim populated country, declaring war on my Muslim friends will cause scary consequences.
Not all Muslim are terrorists so it is truly unfair how Trump is making his blanket statements. I have Muslim friends living in America who have received discriminations ever since he ran his campaign and I fear for their safety too.
There’s little that I could do other than telling my son that hatred will not help anyone, that what the world desperately needs at the moment is more love, more compassion towards one another regardless of race, the color of peoples’ skin, religious beliefs and sexual orientations. I can only pray that my son will grow up with great respect and kindness to the many differences we all have as human beings.
How do you explain the American election result to your children?