Happy Canada Day, made complicated

Flora: What are Nutcrackers made to look like, Mom?

Jane: Uh… Soldiers. Russian soldiers from the 19th century, I think.

Flora: Oh. Is that why they have that star on their hats?

Jane: They have a star on their hats?

Flora: Yeah. So, are Russians like the Nazis?

Jane: Only if you’re Polish.

Flora: What?

Jane: No, no, they’re not. The Nazis were German Fascists, and the Russians are people who live in Russia.

Flora: But Polish people think they’re like Nazis?

Jane: You know what, forget I said that.

Flora: Why?

Jane: Because I don’t want to pass irrational ethnic hatred down another generation.

Long pause.

Flora: I don’t understand.

Jane: It’s okay. You’re Canadian. You’re not supposed to understand.

Another long pause.

Flora: Mom? Is everything in the world complicated?

Jane: Um…

Flora: Or do you just make everything complicated?


Happy Canada Day, everyone. And Happy Fourth of July in three days to my American friends and readers. Perfect we’re not, troubled we are—but we have so much less historical baggage to contend with. And that’s a good thing.

To my parents and Polish relatives: I get it. Really.

For a more serious take on this topic, here’s a column of mine inspired by our last visit to London: Oppressed by History (September 2009, Last Word, Thomson Reuters’ Lexpert)

N.B. This conversation brought to you by Barbie in the Nutcracker.

Canadian Provinces and Territories

2 thoughts on “Happy Canada Day, made complicated

  1. Pingback: Happy Canada Day Sunday | Nothing By The Book Days

  2. Pingback: Road trip survival tips when travelling with infants–not | Nothing By The Book

Made you think? Made you laugh? Made you scream? Tell me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.