This post is part of the April Bilingual Blogging Carnival hosted by Multilingual Mania.
Oh where do we start? Bilingualism has always been an issue for my family, but not for the reason that you might suspect. As an unschooling mom, I try to tell myself that each day is a learning experience, and you know what, it's all a learning experience for me, because I am learning as I am teaching, but it's a challenge.
I have become a child again. I am navigating the world through a child's eyes, and I am liking what I see. Even though I studied French, I know so little, it is frustrating at times. Technically, I shouldn't say that I know little...I know a lot in fact. What I realized in the past few weeks since I have been trying to practice bilingualism in our home is that I do not have the patience for "not knowing". I am used to being the know-it-all. I am used to being the one who always possess the ability to bridge the gap between my family members, when it comes to language barriers, but I fail miserably when I don't know what to do.
At first when I began my little language quest, I felt hopeful, but after one day, I just wanted to cry. I felt foolish for many reasons. Ultimately, I felt, what's the point, no one cares...I don't care. I felt oppressed, I can't believe I said it, but I felt it. I felt oppressed by an impossible force that was chaining me to MY commitment to speak a language that I'm not always comfortable with. I spoke to hubby about my feelings, but it just wasn't as important to him, in fact OPOL is the last thing on his mind.
Last week, I bought some note cards. I labelled everything that I could in my house. I didn't do it for me, I did it so that my family would see that it is something that we are going to commit to. As I printed every word on the little note cards, I felt like a little child learning all over again. I tell myself, today is a learning day. Learning and teaching and exploring with my Rainbow child must go hand in hand. I tell myself, and I would tell Rainbow, (if he could actually comprehend), that each tidbit of knowledge, each and every single experience gives me the tools to bring something new to our adventure.
It's not easy busting out of my comfort zone...English...but it's not impossible. I try to remind myself that French can become my comfort zone, just the same. In learning as I am teaching, I have to be flexible and open and welcome every experience as an essential part of being the teacher and mother that I want to be, or that my children deserve. I think that every child who grows up in a family where language and imagination is the main focus, will always have an outlet. Achieving bilingualism in my home is not going to be easy, but I'm up for it.