He is now a Redneck himself, through and through. And he's damn proud of it.
We moved to Louisville, Kentucky when Zach was three and a half. Before that all he knew was the German country side and a German kindergarten. When we first got to Louisville and Zach started preschool his word pronunciations were very European. He said "ele-phaaaaant" with the emphasis on the "phaannnt." And he called me "ma-MA," emphasizing the MA at the end (he still sometimes slips and calls me ma-MA and I love it.) Soon after Zach started preschool his pronunciations changed. One day as we were going for drive Zach said, "Da-yaddy, what's tha-yat?" It was not a pretty pronunciation. It was completely and totally redneck. I worked hard to keep him, and his brother and sister, from slipping too far into the realm of sounding like they lived in the deep, deep South. I know Louisville is not deep south but there are some who can make it sound like it's deep in the heart of Dixie.
On to Richmond...
We moved here when the kids were 10, seven and five. They have each grabbed on to Virginia and claimed it as home.
Zach now identifies very clearly with being a Southerner. And I smile. I love that he's claimed Virginia as his own, for the good, the bad and the ugly. He knows the ugly side. And he stays away from it.
Recently, the Richmond Times-Dispatch published an article titled Confederate flag will fly along I-95. Zach was mortified that anyone would think it was a good idea to fly that flag along the Interstate. And he was embarrassed for those who think it's a good idea. So he may be a redneck. But he's a good redneck just like his da-yaddy. I'm OK with that, truly. For the time being, I now have a Jersey Redneck and a Southern Redneck in my life.
I'm not sure whether Lucas will go down the redneck road but it looks like Claire might be heading that way. For her first car, she'd love to have a pick up truck and one of her favorite songs is "Boys 'Round Here" by Blake Shelton.
I may live with a bunch of Rednecks and wanna-be Rednecks, but they all make me smile with their Redneck ways.
Oh, for the love of my children....