Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Language Barriers

"¡Hola", "Ni-hao", "Shalom", "Bonjour"! Bean yelled excitedly as she skipped through the street. As she continued to skip her forehead wrinkled and eyes tightened as she concentrated. "Momma, how do you say thank you again in Spanish....and in France, I mean French", she corrected herself.
My parents speak Spanish as frequently as they can when in the presence of our children. Bean gets the gist of what they are trying to say, and will react and respond accordingly. A few days ago we attended a couple's baby shower, and there was an elderly woman who took to Bean as if she were a great-great grandchild. I watched Bean listen to this gentle woman, who was whispering stories of what could be long lost family secrets. She was so entranced with this lady that I too thought that she may be a long lost relative. I quickly snapped out of this magical moment when I realized that she was speaking Romanian.

Then there is non-verbal language. Ladybug and Bean can have full conversations with one another even though one is still saying ga-ga. Bean will be running around outside and stop suddenly near our dog, Kodiak Bear. They give each other "that look" then proceed to chase each other, barking and laughing, as if they read each others minds. We were frantically gearing up to head out of the house today when Ladybug started to wail. "She's hungry", Bean stated. "Nope, I fed her an hour ago. She's just fussy. Let's go!", I said trying to gently push her out the door. "But she's hungry!", she said not moving. Ugh, this kid! I looked at Ladybug who was staring back at me with a sad, slightly worried expression on her face as if I may deprive her of food. Man! We'll be late again I quickly fed her then we all scrambled out the door.

I admit {and now realize} that I simply don't listen to them. With all of the chaos circling us daily how is it possible to tend to their every word? They simply want our attention and want us to "hear" when they are sad, angry, happy, content, bored, scared. Verbally and non-verbally.
Ladybug and Bean were laying in my bed for a nap as I sat next to them supervising {yes, I lost that battle} and they were both dozing off. Kody barked and startled Ladybug. She let out a little gasp that quickly opened Bean's eyes. We all stared at each other waiting for the next sound, and that's when I felt it. I could see, feel, and hear the love gleaming in their eyes. Ladybug's binky fell out from the corner of her mouth and she let out a tiny squeal, smile, and leg kick. Bean didn't take her eyes off of me once. She slowly blinked while giving a tiny smile and whispered, "Thank you mama for letting us share your bed". A moment later she opened one eye, caught my gaze, then stuck out her tongue.

Ay dios mio.

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