Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pippy Longstockings and border guards

I was thinking today that I need to spend some time pulling paperwork together and reapply for a passport for Dragon.  I had gotten the other kids passports in 2007 when Tim and K-Bear went to Korea to fetch Bitsy and bring her home.  Dragon's application got kicked back.  I missed a piece of paper in there someplace.  Anyway, I want to get it done.  Citizenship is sort of an iffy thing.  Supposedly there was a law passed in 2000 that a child adopted by U.S. Citizens was automatically afforded citizenship- but there are some questions about that.  Apparently in situations where the child is adopted prior to travel this is true, but as my children traveled and were wards of the agency for 6 months it isn't as straight forward.  So I want the passport in hand to avoid any questions when traveling.

Anyway - thinking about all this got me to thinking about my first passport.  I was 7 years old I think.  My front two teeth had fallen out and the super-sized news ones had about half grown into the open space, crooked.  I was brown from summer sun and my mother put my hair (bleached out again from the sun) into two pig tails on either side.  And for some unfair reason, my childhood smile included raised eyebrows.  So here I was, with out proper teeth, smiling a huge smile with eyebrows up to my hair line and my hair in pig tails.  I looked like Pippy Longstockings.

We'd gotten the passports initially to go to the Philippines.  Then the Air Force changed dad's assignment and we went to Spain instead.  We were in Spain about 1 and 1/2 years and then it was onto Germany (West Germany at the time) for 3 years.  My parents were thrilled to be spending all that time in Europe and made the most of it.  We traveled all around Spain and Portugal.  A little in France.  All over Germany, into Luxembourg and Belgium and Holland and took the ferry into Scandinavia.  Every time they handed over our passports at a border they would watch and try to guess when the attendant found mine.  It was almost always obvious.  They'd see that god awful photo, try not to smile, and take a quick peek into the car to see which one of us it was.  As I got older the women looked embarrassed for me and the men looked highly amused.  I wonder where that passport is now?


FoxyMoron said...

Wow you must have had an interesting childhood. Wouldn't it be fun to show the kids that passport now?
I am 50 years old and have never held a passport.

Cheryl said...

It would be fun to see that Passport now! For the record, I loved Pippy Longstocking!
Do you have a lot of memories of your time in Europe? I sound like your childhood was full of interesting adventures!
Are you planning a trip soon?
I have never had a passport, but my husband and I want all of us to get one. We decided it was time, to travel outside of this country. We live so close to Canada, and have been there a lot, but now with security, they are going to be asking for passports soon. They already want Birth Certificates and SS card. So a passport makes sense.

Hope your week is going well.