Friday, March 20, 2009

The Tentative Plan

Before we were even married, Danilo talked about having our children grow up speaking both Spanish and English. It sounded great to me at the time. As our family is beginning to materialize before our eyes, I have become ever so less excited about the idea. If you give me a minute to explain, hopefully I will come off not sounding so selfish. Danilo's original proposal was to speak pure Spanish in the home because they would get exposed to English everywhere else they went. I had my reservations about that because though I love the Spanish language, it's not my first language and not the one I fall into speaking naturally. While raising my children, I don't want to have to hope that I'm conveying the right message. When I'm putting my baby to sleep, I want the words I speak to her to be genuinely mine. So we compromised when we found out a baby was on the way to me speaking English when I'm at home with the baby, speaking Spanish as a family when Danilo got home, and Danilo always speaking Spanish. While it was a compromise, I still wasn't embracing the idea. I think when you begin raising a family, at least in my experience, I have craved going back to my roots. I want my children to have similar experiences to what I had growing up, and speaking a different language when we're all together is so foreign from the experience I had as a child. Yet at the same time we will be joining two cultures, and because I love both Danilo and his Chilean background, and because he had a childhood that was different from mine, I realize it's important that we represent both. So the idea occurred to me the other day to balance both by having weeks. We can have a Spanish week where I get good Spanish practice as the whole family speaks Spanish. We talk in Spanish, say our blessing on the food in Spanish, eat dinner in Spanish, say our family prayers in Spanish, have family home evening in Spanish. And when the next Sunday morning comes along, it's English week, and we do it all over again in English. I took the idea up with Danilo, told him why it was important to me, and he was agreeable. The idea might still receive a little tweaking, but it feels pretty good.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I think that is a great idea!! Really!!