OMG. T is sitting next to me doing his imaginary play ‘thing’ in German. It’s a total breakthrough! We speak 3 languages at home – English, German and Swedish. I was brought up bi-lingually in the thick of the North of England in the 70’s and 80’s. Not the most popular nationality to have or language to speak in that part of the world at that point in time, but my Berlinner mum was adamant that no matter how much I got teased at school and no matter how much people threw eggs at our windows on a Friday night (sad, but true), that I would be brought up speaking another language. I had times where I resisted like crazy and I cringed when my mum blankly refused to speak English, but there came a tipping point in my early 20’s when I’d moved to cosmopolitan London and I realized that having another language under my belt was pretty cool and also advantageous when going out into the work place.
Teaching my kids to speak German is a no brainer for me now and M speaking Swedish to the kids (my husband is a Swede) is an added bonus. Where my mum struggled to find other bi-lingual children for me to play with, we have an abundance of bi-lingual and also some tri-lingual friends with kids. We are lucky and it all adds to why I love living in this little part of cosmopolitan America.
C spent a big chunk of time with me as a 2 and 3 year old, when I took a break from working life. During that time, German was the language that he probably heard most of, even though we were in San Francisco. As a result, his German is really good. T on the other hand was in English speaking daycare and preschool pretty much solidly from 5 months old. I’d gone back to work pretty much full time and then the time I spent with him during my battle against cancer was pretty much limited. I’m doing my best to make up for all of that now and spend as much time with both of my kids as I possibly can. I cherish our alone time together. Language has been the biggest tell tale sign for me that T had so little time with me for a while, so him whittering away in German next to me as I scribe is a big breakthrough. A sign that I’ve tipped the balance and a reassurance that everything is ok. Check out this link on raising bilingual kid: http://www.babyworld.co.uk/information/baby/bilingual_babies.asp
C was tired this morning. Herbs or no herbs, g-free or not g-free, he is just plain old ready for summer vacation. He approved of the cookies I’d baked last night for his end of year drama party this afternoon before he left. (Wholefoods 365 Chocolate Chip Cookies. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/). I’ve packed them in his backpack and am intrigued to see whether they actually make it to drama this afternoon, or whether they get devoured at recess beforehand.
It turns out that the cookies are a success and C is very proud to have shared the cookies that his mom made for him.
We head over to Eastwood Park with some friends after school and while away a lovely hour or so in the sun, watching the kids delight in each others company. We talk about the latest Israeli blockade scandal and hear our Jewish friends viewpoint. Am delighted that she has the same take on it as I do.
We go home and I cook up a quick pasta dish:
G-free mom’s turkey bacon pasta
Gluten-free pasta. For this, I used bionature rigatoni
Organic frozen garden peas
Turkey bacon (nitrate free)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Cook the pasta according to instructions on the packet
2. Put a good slug of olive oil into a large saucepan and cook the onion while the pasta is cooking.
3. Add the chopped turkey bacon to the onion and cook for a minute or two
4. Add the cooked pasta and the frozen peas and stir until the peas are cooked and all ingredients are combined.
5. Enjoy with gluten free ketchup.
This evening is C’s open house at school. I quickly pop on a pair of heels and some lipstick – amazing how much a couple of simple additions can be so transformative and we head off to school. All hell breaks loose as we crowd the classroom with all of the other parents and kids and start on the scavenger hunt of the years highlights. I get super emotional about the lovely things that C has written. He says a lot about how much he loves his family and his home. He writes a stash of stories to our cat and dog and he talks a lot about how much he loves my smile. Wow! Better keep on smiling. When he grows up, he writes that he wants to become a vet, to be the boss and to be a spy. He adds that when he grows up he won’t smoke. Go C!
M arrives to the Open House late. Traffic up from the peninsula – always traffic… C does a re-run of the entire scavenger hunt just for him. He is so proud that his dad has made it. A good ending to a long day.