I wanted to share a mother’s day post which translated, yes I am saying translated all my joy and frustrations on my journey to be a bilingual, in my case, multilingual mom and share my passion with my child without suffocating him and pushing him into something he did not want or was not ready….
My 2 million videos of my baby son, show how determined I was to bring Portuguese into his life, my countless hours watching baby Einstein with languages, my crazy games and songs, lullabies….all to bring him a piece of Brazil into his life! My mom did not speak a foreign language but she said I started repeating with a flawless pronunciation names of German Beers on my Dad’s beer bottle cap collection, at just 18 months, so much that they enrolled me in a prestigious, meaning very expensive, English private school! By 12 I was a junior tour guide, helping my classmates and parents buy things at my first Disney trip, the Americans were amazed by my accent and grammar skills at such early age! By 18 I was taking PHD level English at a larger English center and working at a hotel travel agency as a bilingual agent. By 25 I had mastered and was fluent in 4 languages and could understand nearly 8 languages. I thought, off course, my son would be the same…..just better because he had mommy to help him!
Guess what, my help did not help! He he started talking when he was 6 months but never really took huge interest in mommy’s language, singing yes, talking, not so much, still I insisted….pushed….brought him to ennumerous summer camps and classes until he realized the ability to speak a foreign language is a gift, not a curse and that he should embrace it!
Now he is proud of what mommy does, will sing on our upcoming cd and spent the whole Cinco de Mayo weekend saying…arriba, arriba, I’m rolling my rrrrs mom! LOL
Some of my parents ask, he is fluent, right?? I say no, I don’t push him, so Spanish, Portuguese come naturally when he wishes to use it and learn it! He has a great foundation, reads and sings in three languages, but no , he is not fluent on the real sense of the word and yet I am a very proud mom and very happy for finding a peaceful balance in loving my bilingual child and presenting language as a gift and not as a curse.
Feliz Dia de Las Madres!
Feliz Dia das Maes!