She’s here! Milana Jane Pengjad was born on September 9 at 7:55pm, weighing in at 6.14 lbs and 19.5 in! We can’t believe she is finally with us! We are so in love with her and feel so rich and blessed to have two amazing kiddos.
I hope Milana and Rocco will always see the beauty that comes from being from two cultures, and that I can teach them these reasons and more why it’s so cool they aren’t just Thai or not just American, but Thai-American:
1. We learn something new about our cultures every day.
We watched Hook the other night because I told Dom it was an American classic he had to see. He had never heard of the story of Peter Pan growing up, so while we watched I explained things like how the Lost Boys never grow up and why Tinker Bell didn’t like Wendy.
And me, I feel like every day I’m in Thai Language and Cultural School. Like the other day Rocco was riding on Dom’s shoulders and he said he wouldn’t do that in Thailand because it doesn’t show respect if a child sits higher than an elder. Every day I’m learning new weird words, like the other day Dom was watching a Thai show with Rocco where they said the word for lollipop. He told me when it’s translated in English it means suck smile because that’s what you do when you eat it.
I love how we will never be bored of each other!
2. We have two languages we can use to express our thoughts.
There are just some expressions that don’t exist in English, and that’s when Thai comes in handy. There is this Thai phrase, “Man keaw!” that essentially means something is so cute you almost want to attack it. We use it almost every day like when Rocco is being so crazy adorable while bouncing on our bed that we just wants to squeeze him so tight he might break him in two. Our Bulgarian friend says they have a word for it too in Bulgarian, but us English speakers are missing out.
Then of course there are English phrases that I never thought were that amazing that crack Dom up, like saying, “Duh!!” I tried to explain it’s an old school phrase, but he still likes to bust it out when he thinks it’s appropriate.
3. We get to eat Thai food and American food every week.
We cook Thai food every week, duh :). But we also love how in America it’s so much easier and cheaper to cook any kind of food you want, or eat out at any ethnic food place, compared to living in Thailand where the non-Thai food is very expensive compared to Thai food.
Thai food is always on our weekly menu, but so is Indian, Mexican, Korean or a random dish I found online or in my Bon Appetit magazine. We have so many food choices in America, but we can always choose Thai if we want to!
4. We have two countries we all call home.
Yesterday, I was rooting through our medicine box and found a bag from a Thai pharmacy full of some bandages we had bought in Thailand when Dom hurt his leg. That simple bag made my heart long for our other home as memories of Thailand flooded to the surface of my thoughts.
But when we were in Thailand as we stepped out from our apartment to the outdoors, and started to sweat immediately, it made us long for our home in America where seasons change from fall to winter to spring to summer instead of from rainy and hot to just hot.
Some days we prefer living in one home more than another, but either way, I’m glad that we always have two countries that we can run to and feel like we’ve arrived home.
5. Our children have all of the above and more starting from birth!
Dom grew up in Thailand in a very Thai family, and I grew up in America in a very American family, so neither of us had much of another culture in our lives until we met each other and lived in each other’s countries. But our kids get to experience all of the above and more since birth. They are so blessed, and so are we to get to be part of this adventure with them!