While I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago, Lilli asked me, out of the blue, if I could speak Spanish. I told her that I knew a few words, which included counting to ten, so she asked if I could teach her. We spent most of our day at Disney World with me counting and her echoing.
Because isn’t that what everyone does at Disney World?
After about the 70th time, I said,
Lilli, you know you can ask Daddy to tell you how to say any word in Spanish, right? I mean, he speaks fluent Spanish, which means he can talk as well in Spanish as he does in English.
Big blue saucer eyes.
Um, Mimmie? No he doesn’t.”
Big brown saucer eyes.
Sweetheart, you don’t know that your daddy speaks Spanish?!”
(This is where I say SON-IN-LAW, YOUR CHILD COULD BE BILINGUAL AND SHE DOESN’T KNOW YOU SPEAK SPANISH! You might want to GET ON THAT before all she can do is count to ten with a TEXAS ACCENT!)
Then yesterday, during Facetime, I asked Lilli a yes or no question and she answered with “Ja.” I passed it off as her using one of her funny voices (she’s going through a phase right now), until I asked another yes or no question and her answer was “Nein.” Apparently they’re learning how to say a few words in other languages at school, and German was on the docket this week.
(Next week I’m gonna ask “parlez-vous francais” and I’ll let you know if I get a “oui.”)
Languages fascinate me. I’m fluent in exactly one, but I can pick through several written languages and get the gist. Speaking though? If people would just slow down and take a pause between every word, I might be able to manage! It’s understanding the spoken language that’s really the most important because it’s how we communicate face to face. Along with spoken language is body language that is almost just as important, and then there’s the language of the heart.
Love languages. If we don’t fluently speak the language of the people we love, they don’t fully receive that love. For instance, if your darling receives love through time spent with you, and you show them love by spending the afternoon detailing their car in the driveway, they may not fully receive the message. Sure, they’ll appreciate that their car is clean, but all they wanted was your undivided attention for a few hours, and they didn’t get it. It’s as if you said “I love you” in English, but because they only speak French, they needed “je te aime.”
If you’ve never read the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you will be doing your relationships a huge favor by picking it up. You can learn more about the book, and the five languages themselves, here.
There’s nothing quite like looking at those you love and having them look back with a smile that says “you’re speaking my language.” Si? Ja? Oui?
Yes, I say.