I never would have thought that my kids not knowing how to speak Spanish would make me feel bad. Last Saturday, while attending an event for my blog, I was faced with the challenge of being in a predominantly Spanish-speaking crowd with my English-only speaking daughter. I felt welcomed by the event organizers and was told my daughter could participate in all the festivities that were being held. The event was a kid-friendly event. I went with her to the first booth, so I could walk through what she was supposed to do. Learning to eat healthy was the theme, and she sat and colored a food chart.
I walked around taking pictures, while still sticking close to my daughter. When I noticed she was done, I went to where she was and walked her to the next booth. This time, she was going to make a fruit kabob. She walked up to the booth, and one of the ladies working the booth started teaching her the step-by-step process of making the kabob — in Spanish. I walked up behind my daughter and told the lady that she didn’t speak Spanish.
She rolled her eyes and let out a big, “Oooooohhh, she doesn’t speak Spanish?”
She said it in Spanish, thank god, so my daughter didn’t understand what the lady had said. I gave her a smile and proceeded in helping my daughter put together her fruit kabob.
My heart was hurt.
Hurt in the sense that I began to ponder if this was all my fault. Is this the kind of ridicule she’ll face throughout her whole life, because she’s Latina but doesn’t speak Spanish? I felt really bad for her. I failed. Big time. I never planned it this way. Since my husband doesn’t speak Spanish, English is the only language spoken at home. So my kids never learned how to speak Spanish. <Insert sad face here!>
I took my daughter out for lunch after the event, and we had a long talk and bonded over burgers and fries. My heart quickly mended itself with hugs and kisses from my girl. Throughout the week, my mind still wandered back to what that lady said. Will my daughter face this again? I’m sure she will. I’ve searched for Spanish classes around our area, and I’ve planned more Spanish immersion days at home. I plan to sign her up for the Spanish club at school, now that she’s in first grade. I hope this will help all my kids speak a little more Spanish.
Will we be ready? My heart hopes so!