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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dále. Go ahead. Dare Mighty Things

Man oh man, I am a Pitbull fan. My kids and I love Mr. 305's raps. ¡That guy está por todos lados! Canta con JLo, Chris Brown, and con alguien en Portugués. Nossa!

Pitbull's other name is Alejandro Cristian Perez. Él se nació en Miami. Yo vivo en Miami and I can't help asking myself if I'd like him as much if I didn't live here. Probably. I mean I like the idea of being a "305 area code" kind or person-- seems mucho más "cool" que 786--entónces es más la actitud que la residencia.

Hay una canción called "Ms. International" cantado por Pitbull and Chris Brown. ¡Tiene un ritmo esta canción! No quiero realmente that my kids listen to the words; Pit suggests a tryst with two Romanian sisters and Chris Brown is known for his dancing skills AND his explosive temper, pero, I will tell you, nos gusta to blast that music on the way to school or al supermercado o por donde sea.

Oh yeah! According to la radio, I live in the SEXIEST city on the planet! I don't know if I should be big time orgullosa of that, but allà está. Entónces, si Miami es la más sexy, mis hijos se están creciendo allá. And just what does it mean for them?

For my Ohio family it means, in general, "not good". It means many "tsk-tsks" at my having stayed in Miami and raised my children.

"No way! You own a house in Ohio! Get those children UP HERE! They need to be raised with VALUES!"

Aquí están las noticias recienes que ha oido la familia en Ohio: muchas manifestaciones en las calles y hombres comiendo las caras de otros hombres. So it's hard for them to understand how my two children can be so polite, caring, and fun being raised in all of THAT!.

"¿Qué estarán pensando Larry y Kim?" They'd be speaking English but the meaning would be the same. At least I think so. It's taken me a long time to get the nuanced future tense in Spanish to mean the "it might be happening right now" progressive tense in English. For that matter quiero poner las primeras letras de inglés y español en letras mayusculas. All the time. My brain bubbles with languages and so de temps en temps je fais des erreurs comme ça.

Values: Les cuento aquí algo que pasó ya hace tiempo. Busqué a mi hija a su escuela when she was in kindergarten. Ella estaba jugando con una amiga y trajo a esa niña a conocerme.

"This is my best friend, Yudisleysis, mom." The name Yudisleysis flowed from her lips with no accent. The name Yudisleysis was just that--a name--to my daughter. The name Yudisleysis was her best friend's name.

"Hello Yudisleysis, it's nice to meet you. I'm Lana's mom."

"Mom, Yudisleysis doesn't speak English yet." Lana turned to Yudisleysis and said "Es mi mamá."

And that was that to my daughter. I, however, found myself with tears in my eyes. My daughter, adopted in Kazakhstan, had just introduced me to her BFF, just arrived from Cuba. I couldn't help the " Lana probably wouldn't have a BFF named Yudisleysis in Ohio" thought. No judgements here. Lana has friends in Ohio too.

Yo no sé donde estará Yudisleysis ahora; mi hija ha tenido varias BFF's desde entonces. Pero para mí, este momento fue un BMF-Best Moment Forever--y todavía sonrío when I think about it.

Values: Here's another story. I worked at a school with a large Haitian population. I was working there when a devastating earthquake slammed Haiti. I found myself, as the ESOL counselor, with grand opportunities. Never thought I'd get to "practice my French" in such a profound way. I thought my "French practicing" would be a ""Bon jour, how ya doin'?" kind of conversation. Never considered that I would be a first face of welcome to shocked and devastated children and their families. Never knew the personal joy I'd feel at seeing hesitant and amused smiles at my earnest attempts at welcoming in French on faces of folks--young and old--all survivors of devastation.

Mes etudiants haitians ont voulu faire quelque chose grand, ils ont voulu celëbre le jour of the Haitian flag. Ils avait besoin d'aide pour le faire. Je les aidai. How did I help? Didn't have to do much more than meet with them once a week and say "Comment va tout?" Once we got started, a Haiti born teacher gave advice and by the time Haitian flag day arrived, we (they) etaint PRÊTS avec une presentacìon magnifique. I simply had to call out the names of the students as they danced and sang.

Although I knew little about Haitian customs, I did know hurt and pride. I knew my pride in these students accomplishments. I knew their pride too. It felt as if their pride and their hurt coalesced in their performances. My students, born in the United States and fluent in English, seemed to discover a resiliency in themselves as they danced and they sang. Their robust abandon, lost in the words of patriotic Haitian songs and dances brought them, me, and the audience to a place of awe. C'etait un cadeau incroyable.

Values: My son Ben's best friends are of Haitian and of Cuban parents. I admit here that hearing my son say his friends' names with trills of his tongue, amuses and delights me: that Julia, for example, is said with a Spanish "J" even when he speaks English.

I love that both of my children have participated in bilingual curricula. I love that now my pretty-much bi-lingual son will study German. I really love that he doesn't understand that this is an amazing opportunity.

Y también desde que cuando eran chiquititos, mis hijos y yo jugábamos un juego. Cada vez que cruzábamos la puente a Hialeah, Florida de nuestra comunidad de Miami Springs, nos decíamos que sólo íbamos hablar español en el Publix.

Llegó un momento de tener muchas amistades allá. Mi hija, Lana, ayudaba a William, un hombre quien trabajaba alla. Ella y él ponían todas las latas en sus lugares. Las latas de tomate en el lugar de las latas de tomate. "No Lana", yo oí una vez pasando por los pasillos. "¡No Lana! ¡No se pone las latas de tomate donde la fruta!", me acuerdo que dijo William. ( You will note here, by the way, that the subject, William, is at this sentence's end. I love Spanish. It's taken my rigid English speaking mind and loosened it up. Has my mind "ojalá-ing"as it dances a little language salsa...)

Mi hijo Ben tenía la atencíon de las mujeres del Bakery. "Aye, amorcito, ¿quisieras una galleta?"

Everybody loved my Spanish speaking children. It was--and still is on occasion--a lot of fun.

Values. Miami. Maybe it is the sexiest city on the planet. De esto no sé. Pero, lo que sí sé, es que es una ciudad llena de valores y de oportunidades por todos.

Pitbull, un cubano-americano de 31 anos; un hombre joven y bien famoso es de MIAMI.

Mis hijos, nacidos en Kazakhstan, de doce y de once anos, son de MIAMI.

Yudisleysis, born in Cuba and brought to the United States by parents with dreams and aspirations never to be met in Cuba, is from MIAMI.

Prince, Madeline, Jean-Claude and Nedgie, ne'es aux etats-unis, mais avec parents aussi qui ont cherché des oportunites pour eux mëme et aussi pour ses enfants, ils sont aussi de MIAMI.

And me, a 55 year old woman, born and raised in rural Ohio who moved to Miami 33 years ago....bueno, yo también, yo soy de MIAMI.


Y'all have a great week!  Wink

8:48 am edt          Comments

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