Monday, June 11, 2007

My Child

My son is six years old. He doesn't really understand what is happening to him yet. Like his mother and father, he is growing up in a home where more than one language is spoken daily. He knows that Mom speaks English (much to my chagrin, as it was always my intention to speak the sweet sounding Spanish that I heard from Mom, Mother, Grandmother and aunts), Dad speaks Spanish and Grandmother speaks Catalan (also the language used as school).
The difference between Mom and Dad is that Dad's two languages are not that different. Mom's two languages are worlds apart.
When he was a baby, he was soothed by the sweet sound of "Duérmete niño" and didn't really care for "Hush Little Baby". Was is the sound of Spanish that lulled him to sleep, or was it that those words has much more feeling behind them than her learned English.
Now that he is six, he's increasingly more discontent with English. It is a language that is imposed on him. He has to learn it. Mom and Dad don't speak it to each other. In school, he gets one hour of English a week.
He wants to speak better Spanish and Catalan. He is painfully aware that all his friends speak much better than he does. He just wants to fit in. (I can hear the hurt in his voice, it's the same hurt I felt for so many years when my thick accent and my limited vocabulary made me stick out like a cactus in a flower garden)
Should I really continue to teach him something that is not something I feel as mine? D. says yes.
Yo no lo tengo tan claro.

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