Hi! How are you? Hola! Como Estas? Where have you been? What have you been up to lately?
I have not written a blog since my birthday, October 15th. That was a pretty emotional blog post for me….my husband even said “I think you healed a lot from writing that post”. I think I did, but that is not why it has taken me so long to post again. You see I have been doing something major for my family, something that will change our family forever. (But I’ll let you in on a secret….it is really something for myself as well.)
My husband is from Mexico and Spanish is his first language. Our family goal is to be a bi-lingual family, so we enrolled our children in a Spanish immersion nursery and preschool and I have been taking Spanish classes. We decided if we were going to send our kids to Spanish school then I needed to go to. (But secretly, I have always wanted to learn Spanish since working on cruise ships my senior year of college).
I am learning another language and it is not the language of toddlerese. And this isn’t your cute “Ball is pelota!” kind of Spanish class. This is a “kick your arse, every word and page in my book is in Spanish”, Spanish class. Our instructor (or Maestro) came in and said “Solo Espanol” and he really meant it. So I have been committing 4 hours of class time plus 2 hours of travel time plus more hours of study time each week to learn the language that is my husband’s native tongue.
It has had challenges for sure. I’ve come home from class and practically cried because I didn’t understand the meaning of a verb we had just conjugated for the last hour. Or I have cried on the way to class because I rushed through my homework and realized that I did not practice any Spanish the 4 days between classes….with my Spanish speaking husband.
But here is the thing…I keep going back. Yes, sometimes I want to quit but I don’t. I might not learn everything and I will definitely have clueless moments in class, but I am doing this for me. I love the time away to focus on something I have wanted to do for a long time. I am doing this for me because let’s be honest, there are days as a stay-at-home-mom where I feel like I used way too many brain cells trying to figure out where that darn mouse is on each page in “Good Night Moon”. So to have adult conversations that does not revolve around tantrums, cloth diapers and private schools….bring it on! I am doing this because we are spending money for both of my kids to attend Mother’s Day Out at a Spanish immersion school (the same school is hosting my adult classes) and I want to make sure that I know what my kids are saying later in life when they are whispering conspiracies to steal Girl Scout cookies out of the freezer.
There are a lot of other things I could be doing in my evening time….ahem like writing blogs. There are other things we could spend our money on or SAVE IT! But I am committed and most importantly, I will not quit. You see more and more, I want to live the life I want my children to have. I know this might seem like a “duh!” moment for some but in honesty, I think there are a lot of things parents say to their children or tell their children to DO but they don’t do it themselves. Example, don’t say a bad word…..but then you stub your toe and next thing you know your two-year-old is running around saying a word that rhymes with ship.
I want my children to grow up living the life now with no regrets and no boundaries on them. I want them to see me achieve learning a second language in my late 30’s and realize that no matter what is happening in their lives, they can do something if they really want to. This isn’t about saying “you have to get good grades to go to college…so go in there and study!”, no this is about instilling in them the DRIVE to want to do the best they can to get into whatever program they want to after high school or save enough money to travel the world when they graduate….I want them to live their lives for themselves, so I need to live my life for myself.
I will not quit because again I am doing this for ME. This is my time, my hobby, my space to work on me. I have a very close group of mommy friends. Most of them have joined a local gym and coordinate their days around working out together. I love that they are focusing on continuing to be healthy and showing their children that this is important to them. What a great example they are showing their kids. I’ve considered joining this gym and jumping on the bandwagon, but time and finances just hold me back. When I look at my true motivation to join this gym, it’s because I want to be part of the group, to keep up with everyone, to not be left out. But being part of the work-out group, is not going to move my family closer to one of our ultimate family dreams, to be bilingual and go on bilingual trips. I want our family to be a bilingual family, and to do that I need to step-up and do this. And you know what….I’ve been feeling much happier, much more together since starting Spanish class. I think I have found that by focusing on me, I’m better focused on my family.
So what have you done lately for yourself? Has there ever been a lifelong dream of yours to do and do you think now is the time you should look into it?