"The first forty years of life give us the text: the next thirty supply the commentary."~Arthur Schopenhauer
Although, I knew it was approaching, I originally did not intend to include Big Monkey's naturalization ceremony in my 40x40. It seemed like more of an event of importance for him. But after attending the ceremony, I realized what special meaning it really held for our family as a whole, and without a doubt it should be included as a once in a lifetime event.
Big Monkey and I have been married for almost 14 years and started the process of his becoming a citizen immediately after our wedding. Yes, it was just as you would imagine... sitting through interviews a la "Green Card", the movie. Being asked questions like "what is Big Monkey's father's name?", "where was he born?" Its been stressful at times and I'm happy to move on from it, but I'm also proud to have a multicultural family who does not take our freedoms for granted.
I have to say the ceremony was lovely and filled me with pride to be an American and to watch 92 others have such obvious pride in standing up, saying their name, and being welcomed as new citizens. The folks officiating were so respectful, and even though I'm sure they do this weekly, took the process very seriously and made it a special day for everyone taking part.