Photo Credit: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images
Earlier this spring, we were taking a road trip with "The Dudes" (that's what I call my three boys) when I looked in the rearview mirror and spotted my four-year-old with tears streaming down his face. When I asked him why he was crying, he said that Cars was just too sad for him and he never wanted to see it again.
The Disney Pixar film with the cocky, red sports car and the rusted out old tow truck?
Yep, the Cars we all know and love caused my son to have a full on, emotional breakdown in the back seat of my Jeep Honda. The movie's depiction of the decline of Route 66 and the heart of middle America was just that powerful. And my four-year-old is just that emotionally mature.
Point is, I found myself explaining to him that Route 66 is not entirely dead, and that to prove it, I'd google it and show him it's still alive and kicking. Somehow, promising my son a trip to "google" always seems to appease him; something about the knowledge gained by pressing buttons and looking at pictures, I think.
Fast forward a few months and I’m sitting across the table from my husband at Ruby Tuesday when he smugly points out three items within grabbing distance that were made in China. He often brings this up and seems to think it proves his loosely supported point that everything worth owning is made in China.
He challenged me, "I bet you couldn’t live for a week without buying something made in China." I thought to myself, "probably not", but to him I said, "Is that a dare?!"
It wasn’t a dare, but I took it to be and decided to prove him wrong, (yet again!), by living an entire month on things only made in America, and then suggested the idea for a report for iVoices on iVillage.
Watch how I and my fellow iVoices tackled this "Buy Only American" challenge:
I immediately revised this plan to living one week without buying anything that wasn’t made in America (all of my previously purchased items were fair game). Hello, I need my cell phone!!
And, just to up the awesomeness of the whole thing, I also decided that I was going to help "The Dudes" grow even more fond of our great nation by planning summer trips to American landmarks, taking in some of America’s favorite pastimes, and exploring products made in America on a more intimate basis.
I’ve even given it a catchy little name to get "The Dudes" all fired up about it. We’re calling it "The All-American Family Summer Adventure" and blogging all about it on my website Parenting BY Dummies (which you should totally check out, as it is all full of just this kind of awesomeness!). It just feels more fun when you say it like that, right?
We’ve already visited the Utz Chip factory and the Snyder’s Pretzel factory in Hanover, PA. We have trips coming up to the Harley Davidson factory and to Hershey Park (hello chocolate happiness), and we’re planning to also take day trips to visit a bunch of awesome, truly American sites in DC.
We’re hoping that our All-American Family Summer will have us ready to root for our teams in the Olympics this summer! And we hope that this challenge inspires you to think about how you can make this an All-American Summer at your house too!
Amanda Rodriguez is an iVoice on iVillage who lives with her husband (Dumb Dad) and her three "Dude" sons in Maryland. Rodriguez writes daily at Parenting BY Dummies. You can also find Amanda on Twitter at @dumbparent.