You just spent a year in a French speaking school… and your home language is ENGLISH. Do you understand how amazing that is? I swore that I would never be THAT MOM that uses her kid as a walking Google Translate, but I am. Because, well… you know more French than me now and you sound so much better speaking it. Also, I make any excuse I can to hear you speak… it gives life to my soul every time. I am proud of you. Like absolute crazy faced proud. We have been here exactly one year… and you know what? The thing I most admire about our journey as a family is YOU.
There have been many moments when I didn’t think we could do it, or I second guessed our decision… usually moments when you were screaming at me or stomping off in the opposite direction madder than a hornet. There was a fine line between the guilt I felt at “dumping you” off into another language and culture and the total resolution I had that we were GIVING YOU A GIFT. The language gift. Now, I can finally see the gift beginning to emerge. You speak almost as easily in one language as the other… I wish that were true of myself. We gave you no choice but to learn, while giving ourselves a much easier road. While we are taking classes (and I find them gob-smackingly hard) YOU have had an emersion of the kind no one in this family has known. Your absolute bravery throughout it astounds me. The headmaster of your school mentioned it, too. As she handed you your diploma, she paused and said (my rough translation)…
You are like a knight. A champion. At the beginning of the year you couldn’t speak a word of French, but now you can defend yourself like a champion.
To your average American parent that might sound like we have raised one big bully, but I tell you what… I was GUSHING with pride that day. And my boy, we still are.
All images film. Hasselblad 501 C, Canon EOS-3, Portra 400, Fuji 400.