Our oldest child is in a Montessori pre-school program a few mornings a week. On Fridays, a woman comes to her classroom to teach the students some beginning Spanish.
At first, Nora couldn’t easily remember what new Spanish words she’d learned when I asked her after school. But after several lessons (she used to not attend on Fridays), she’s able to relay more and more vocabulary.
At lunch today, she sang us a song with the lyrics: Adios amigos, Goodbye friends! over and over again.
Then, out of the blue, many hours later, on the drive home from picking up our car from being serviced, she said to me, “Mommy, do you know what buenos días means?”
I do, but asked her to tell me what it means. She thought for a moment and then replied, “It means hello.”
I clarified that while we do use buenos días to greet someone, it actually means good morning.
“Nuh-uh. It means hello. How do you know, anyway?” she said.
I told her I learned Spanish when I was in school and that I speak a little Spanish with my students at my job.
She was not convinced. “No, mommy. It just means hello.”
I felt my frustration level rising, although this could have been due to the fact that the baby was screaming and the middle child was whining about wanting me to hold her, as if I could just magically stop driving the car and respond to her wishes.
“OK, Nora,” I said. “I’m not going to argue with you. What is the point anyway, really?
Which is why moments later, after she had removed both her rain boots and socks while sitting in her car seat, and proclaimed matter-of-factly, while covering up the sunshine with an outstretched leg, “Mommy. Do you know that my foot is bigger than the sun?” I just acquiesced and replied, “Yep. Your foot is bigger than the sun.”
Someday she’ll learn that the sun is far bigger than her foot. And that Rapunzel, though beautiful in all her animated glory, is not a real person. And that candy is not a health food, even though it is really yummy. And even that a drive to the grocery store, while seemingly endless to her, does not, in fact, take forever.
I did overhear Nora telling my husband tonight that buenos días means hello, but you say it in the morning time. A nice little compromise, I think. And, close enough to the truth, anyway. So I’ll take it.