February 4, 2013 by empraise
It has now been about a week that I have been in angst over this internal English/Spanish dilemma, literally laying in bed some nights worrying about it. I spent a couple of days early in the week forcing myself to speak English to Little M. It was the weirdest experience. I felt so out of myself…so disconnected from him, and yet this strong drive to force myself through the awkward stage in order to connect with him in English. I wanted to see what it would be like to interact with him in my native language…to freely reach for phrases and idioms with no uneasy doubt lurking in the back of my mind. The clock is ticking; he is on the verge of being able to communicate with us more verbally and I feel (whether it’s reality or not) that this is a critical time where patterns are being set for how he relates to me and which languages he feels comfortable speaking with me.
I have been praying a lot about this subject too…it is incredibly comforting to know that we serve a God who speaks ALL these languages and it matters very little to him which words we choose to relate to him and to each other, as long as we ARE relating to him and to each other. There is no more important command than to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Which language can I do that best in? Which language should I encourage Little M to do that in?
By the end of the week, I felt more comfortable conversing and babbling throughout my day with him in English. And I had decided that in the evenings and on the weekends when Big M is home from the office, I would like to try using English. That way our family bond is reinforced as all three of us can understand what is being said. Even though Big M continued to speak German to Little M during this time, I felt a much stronger tie to him as I spoke English this past weekend. My anxiety began to disappear as I realized that Little M was hearing, in English, all the things I’ve always wanted to say to him: “Hey Sweet Boy, did you sleep well?”, “Do you want to help me make the chocolate chip cookies?” and important words like “red” and “bicycle”. And I was happy that he was hearing German, not frustrated by an additional language in the mix. The introduction of English into our family was like a fresh cool breeze for me. I have yet to talk to my husband about his impressions!
Monday rolled around, and surprisingly, I woke up this morning with a new desire and joy in speaking Spanish with Little M. Our special one on one time became more significant. I couldn’t wait to share the words with him that have taken on more meaning and importance in light of their Spanish counterparts.
On another note, I had my first Skype lesson with my teacher María through Live Lingua on Friday. Her question, “so who do you speak Spanish with during the week?” and my answer, “nobody…my son…you!” threw me into a world of self-doubt. But by the end of the lesson I was encouraged, both by my current level of speech and the opportunity to speak for two hours a week with a native speaker who is patient and has to answer all my questions! She already is giving me tools and accountability to put new words into practice and to stretch myself with writing and reading. I can feel myself growing and am excited about how this will improve my ability to speak to Little M.