Acceptance?

J03y's picture

Life's been good but a bit strange since I was last on here. Good that Sam2000 is okay after his accident and hopefully he's be on here more often, and strange with my family.

Last week my my grandpa, uncle and I were "invited" back to visit my Amish relatives, but it was more than that. They needed some work done on the house and instead of having a member of the Amish community do it, my other grandpa asked if we could help. It's something they do with the family business, so it wasn't that strange, but still...

Actually my uncle wanted some new furniture for our place so it was a barter, really nice furniture in exchange for the work. That happens all the time in the Amish community.

It was a long trip there in the pickup and we stayed at a hotel, just out of comfort and to not cause any tension, well that's what I was told. We wore Amish clothing, and damn that sucks in the summer! My uncle told me it was so we would fit in better, and not look like the outsider we are. Funny thing is I had my cell phone with me but had to keep it on vibrate!

We parked our pickup behind one of the farm's outbuildings so it wouldn't be seen easily, and the whole family was there to greet us, except there were no hugs because the Amish don't believe in public displays of affection. That felt funny, but that's the way it is. They were polite, and that matters the most I guess?

The best part was my cousin that's about my age was there and really happy to see me, and he gave me a straw hat, my uncle told me that was a peace offering in a way. My grandpa and uncle were given them also, and now I understand how cool that was.

Like all Amish kids I pitched in to help, and when we took a break lunch was delicious! The one thing I noticed was very little Dutch being spoken, except a few times between my grandpa's. I know better than to ask what they said.

In the evenings we went back to the hotel and dressed in "English" summer clothes again and went out and did things you'd do on vacation. Life in two worlds!

After the work was done on the last day we were there my other grandpa spoke to my cousin in Dutch, and he came to me with this funny look on his face.

"Want to go for a swim?"

It was hot so I was into that, then I knew we'd be skinny dipping. We went back to a pond in the woods and we undressed. I know this is going to sound real bad but he looked good(!) and our bodies look the same...yeah I couldn't help looking. I imagined he was a girl so I wouldn't pop a woody, and we just jumped in and splashed and swam, and it felt good but the water had lots of algae in it. YUCK!!!

We got out of the water and sat on a tree trunk, with towels covering our guy parts up, and just talked about things that I guess Amish kids would talk about. It was different to me, I couldn't talk about things I like because he wouldn't understand any modern technology, almost like talking to a kid from a third world country.

We got dressed with his facing away from me and I popped a woody, luckily he didn't see it. With our clothes one we went back to the house and he told me he was glad we came, it made the whole family happy.

I wanted to hug him but I knew I couldn't because he would be uncomfortable, and that wouldn't be good for us. I'll be honest here, that hurt me.

We went later that to pick up the furniture and then went back to the farm to say goodbye to my other family. That was sad, but it was a step in a good direction I think, and I asked if I could write to them.

My other grandparents spoke Dutch for a while back and forth, then said I could, if I wanted to.

We drove off, and all three of us were wiping away tears. We didn't say anything for a long time, but I knew something special happened, something that I don't think my grandpa may have expected.

That straw hat is now my favorite thing, and I feel better about my Amish roots.

And I thank God for that every day now.

Thanks to everyone for being so supportive of me!-Joey

Comments

elph's picture

What an inspiring story!

That's it! :)

jeff's picture

Sounds like...

... a good experience.

I don't know that it is your concern whether you are explaining things he wouldn't understand, though. I know when I've visited third world countries, there is a tendency to speak broken English and stay within simple concepts, but then when I met people who taught English in those regions, they said the more you just explain your life and situation, using your regular language, the better they will understand you. I mean, it's not like Amish kids don't know about TV and cell phones, I wouldn't imagine, so I think you should just talk about your life and let him ask questions about it. It's not a secret.

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"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

Bosemaster42's picture

Good for you,

Joey. Sounds like it was a good time had by all. I've always been intrigued by the Amish. I know I wouldn't last a week living under their rules, however, I'm fascinated by the teamwork they display and the simplicity of their lives. I like technology, but at the same time I have a disdain for it.
Also, the Amish are wonderful woodworker's, which I have a lot of respect for, as well as, the desire for self-sufficiency.