Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our Hypothetical Children

Paul and I are a normal couple. We have good moments and we have bad. We support. embrace. fight. urge. encourage. stimulate. forgive. argue. accompany. listen. yell. communicate. cry. trust. kiss. excite. believe. need. judge. feel. love.

I think all listed above are normal and are encompassed in any healthy relationship. I think with all relationships the positive moments ebb and flow and in the gaps are filled with frustration, negative interaction, and questioning. I truly believe that this is okay as long as at the end of it, you know that you love and respect one another and can move forward from there.

Today the topic came up yet again: When will I learn Spanish. It is true, Spanish is a beautiful language filled with beautiful syllables and when spoken with love can sound like music to the ears. It is also true that I am terrible with languages and have a very hard time picking them up.

I want to learn some Spanish. I want this not to be able to know this language per say, but to be able to communicate even slightly to Paul's family in Argentina who speak little or no English at all. It is unfair of me to expect them to learn my language when it is I going to their country. Thus far we've all seemed to get by, especially those who try and communicate with me, but there are others who are either too embarrassed or frustrated to give it a shot.

In our 4 years together I've picked up a few words or phrases and understand a lot of conversations even if only the gist, however, it has thus far been a lost cause. Paul expressed that I need to learn Spanish because he wants our Children to speak Spanish. He also expressed that he thinks its bad that my siblings only speak English and not English and Tagalog. Who is he to judge?

He went further to express that without speaking the language one cannot really be immersed in their culture. To this I completely disagree. A language is definitely part of one's culture but I know many individuals who embrace their culture but all through a different tongue. The same can be said that without being in one's own country they cannot get the full benefit of the culture. Or without local home grown ingredients, a dish will not taste as authentic. Without being completely immersed in one's culture 100% there is always room for outside influences, but what makes that wrong?

He believes that our children will be unable to learn Spanish as a 2nd language unless I too make this a 2nd/3rd language and speak it regularly in the home. I understand that this is the easiest form of language learning, however, I've known 1st hand that this is not the only way. I learned Tagalog, not as a child, but as an adolescent, and though I can only speak conversationally and usually with poor grammar, I learned enough to get by. My sister at the age of 3 was tri-lingual. She spoke English, German, and Albanian. She even understood a little Tagalog. People thought this genius but really it was simple. My Mother spoke to her in English, her Father in German, and her Sitter in Albanian. She learned all 3 languages and spoke them well.

It does not take 2 people speaking a language constantly for it to be absorbed in the young minds of children. I'd be thrilled if our children could speak many languages, even if many of them they had no practical use for. I think its a beautiful gift and talent.

We ended up arguing about our Hypothetical Children. How ridiculous is this? We are not engaged, not married, and not anywhere close to planning for Children. And yet, we manage to go back and forth concerning these hypothetical, multi-racial, Keanu Reeves children we will have one day far off into the distant future. What is wrong with us.

Paul went so far as to speculate: "i think my family may see you not learning spanish as a sign that you are unwilling to immerse yourself in our family. which to an extent i think is true"

I think this statement is going to far. If in truth, his family thinks I am unwilling to join them as a family unit due to my disinterest in learning Spanish, they are both selfish and unrealistic. His parents both speak English well and we communicate clearly on a regular basis. His family in Argentina, on the other hand, speak no English and to communicate with them, I do need his help and must learn some more phrases. My small Spanish vocabulary, however, in no way impairs me from caring about these people and considering them my family.

Like most of my blogs, I must make you laugh so I will end this the way Paul and I ended our conversation concerning this topic.

Upon explaining the above to Paul he responded: "i didnt say it was a sign....i said i think that is how they may perseave it"

I then copied and pasted the aforementioned quote which clearly says "SIGN".

To this he responded: "i kno. but key words: "i think""

Lilia: "okay ... if I said I think you are a homo - would you be offended?"

Paul: "its different"

Lilia: "I think my friends think you are a homo because of how you dress"

Paul: "I am trying to express what they thing. You are expressing an opinion" (I could have taken this anywhere I wanted but I held back)

Lilia: "and you are giving an opinion too. You are giving an opinion of what you believe their opinion is"

Paul: "Yes. You are a smart one you are. I think"

Lilia: "so despite that I am still entitled to defend or agree/disagree with you assessment. So don't test me or I'll get annoyed and then I'll hav to murder you."

Paul: "Not scared"

Lilia: "Fine I'll chop off your penis and feed it to a Spanish speaking parana"

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