Friday, January 29, 2010

The wonder years...


My oldest sister will turn 30 in a few months time, while my oldest baby will be eight next month. Where has the time gone?

As a little girl I remember laying awake dreaming about the future dreams, goals, and hopes I had.

I look up and that time is here. My sisters and I have grown up and moved away, just as I've recently come home.

But looking at the this picture always makes me smile. It reminds me of pressing combs, Easter baskets, Grandpa's yard.

My own version of the Wonder Years.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Baby by me

I want a Haitian baby.

Finally said it out loud the other day. Said it at work.

Got a blank stare.

Said Haitian baby girl to a friend. Got a "What?"

I want a Haitian baby girl.

Take her away from the rubble. The hunger, the dirt.

I want a baby girl to rescue. Someone's gotta do.

Let it be me.

I want a baby by Haiti.

I give a baby by Haiti.

I'll find a baby by Haiti.

Tu hablas espanol?

So, I'm taking a Spanish for Educators course. Boy,do I wish I had paid more attention Senior year in H.S. Or even Freshman year in College. Although many words and grammar facts are coming back, I can't help but think of the head start I relinquished by not studying more.

This class has also made me think about the way Spanish speakers are often treated in America. Ever hear the refrain, "You're here now, so speak English"? As if by magic a year's worth of study will transform someone into a fluent speaker. If only it were that easy.

Its ironic, because although we want our children to acquire an additional language, we all know its profitable; others are often marginalized for not speaking our native-tongue. As if learning to read, write, and speak English were the simplest thing in the world.

Watching the social workers, teachers, and now a principal struggle to remember the Spanish alphabet made a light go off in my head. If it is this difficult to learn a language that isn't proficiently spoken in your home, and you already hold a B.A, M.A, or P.h. D; how must it be for children from other countries who are placed in a foreign school and sometimes hostile environment?

As simple as uno, dos, tres? Not by a long shot.