Have you ever watched or babysat some kids who didn’t hardly speak any English?
It’s quite a challenge, yes, but it’s actually not so difficult as one might think. And drawing pictures helps, if you desperately need to get your point across through communication. I’m doing my darndest to learn as much German as I can while I’m staying here, and I seem to be impressing the family pretty well. The dad, who knows maybe 20 English words, really delights in my attempts to communicate in German, because he hardly knows any English and when he’s trying to ask me something, I have to play the guessing game to try and figure out what he’s trying to tell me. The oldest boy and mother are more or less the translators in the languages. If it weren’t for them being around, well, let’s just say we would both probably get nowhere.
But that’s the fun part of it all! For instance, when I finish clearing the table with the father after supper, and I’m doing something such as putting away the food or cleaning the dishes, I ask him where something goes and he can tell me (or show me) – no problem! He knows how to ask for the English words for things and it’s so fun to learn German!
What’s funny, is I’m so use to singing or humming while cleaning up, and miss having music in the house. Their house is too quiet because of the lack of music! No CD player or anything. I sometimes bring my mp3 to listen to, but in case I forget, I find myself unconsciously humming or singing aloud, without really noticing. The family seems to be delighted and drawn to my ‘musical heart’ and even the dad, playfully hums some random tune in a ridiculous way, making me fall out in peels of laughter. “Ah, the life of Jennifer,” he chuckled. Him and the boys have snuck up on me several times while I was singing out loud, making me turn around and jump in surprise! Whenever I start to feel embarrassed or apologize, they assure me, “No, no. That’s o-kay! It’s very, very wonderful! No problaym.’
I feel like apart of their family, and the boys have already found a special place in my hearts. Why, just yesterday the younger two boys each gave me a big, strong hug goodbye as they headed off to school again. It touched me so, and I had impulsively kissed the younger one’s redhead; him giving me a big, crooked smile. He grabbed his backpack, rushing out the door. “Bye, Jen-NEE-fer!!”
“Bye! Have a wonderful day at school!” I called after them. Finishing up the kitchen, I had returned to my apartment to finish up sorting the numerous pictures I’ve been taking, and to also finish my drawing of the middle child. He, especially has been quite taken with my ability to draw, and everyday asks how the process is coming along. I show him the sketch, and he always looks at it wonder, and softly whispers, “It’s so boo-tee-full. Dis is vary, vary goot. So, so goot.” I thank him, pleased. I had promised to draw him something to keep, and his reaction to that was priceless. Never saw a kid so excited.
Today the boys have a hockey tournament and have invited me up to the school at 2 ‘o’ clock this afternoon to watch them. I can’t wait to go and see what it’s like. For now, I’m afraid I must end here. Believe me, I could write a book about what happened yesterday. I must move along in the day, and figure out what to cook the boys for lunch today. My tacos and grilled-cheese sandwiches were both big hits! Today I haven’t exactly planned anything, yet, but I’m sure I’ll get an idea somewhere. 🙂 And hopefully they will enjoy the food just as much as they did the other times.
Okay, okay. Now I have to slip away in the day. I’ll come around again, hopefully soon, and write about another typical day here in Switerland. I dearly hope this blog isn’t quite as bad as I think it is. I’m a complete neophyte to blogging and am doing my best at it. After all, there’s a first time for everything, right? Practice makes perfect, right?
Til then, I remain,