I apologized yesterday to her. I whispered to Luna at a distance. “I'm sorry…but I still won't change a thing…”
A few months ago, a woman at the Newport Beach Library stared at JD and Luna as they read books in Spanish. She later told JD that children who don't learn English are at a disadvantage and that it stunts their development.
JD—the kind, patient, empathetic man he is—smiled and thanked her for her insights.
Meanwhile, back at home, as he recounted the story, I flung my arms in the air and incredulously asked JD why he didn't defend our decision to raise a bilingual daughter.
“Because you're wrong,” he said. “We're attempting to raise a trilingual daughter.”
AND THAT RIGHT THERE IS WHY I MARRIED THIS MAN. He's calm, smart, and stalwart in his vision for the future. Luna's next language will be French.
We've intentionally made the decision to teach Luna Spanish before English (knowing she'll pick up the latter much quicker and easier as she enters school), and though it's been an incredible experience, there are difficulties as well.
At the park yesterday, Luna played with a group of girls who quickly became frustrated with her inability to fluently communicate with them and ran away to play separately.
Watching this unfold deeply hurt, even though my little Luna shook it off and ran to the swings to play on her own.
I whispered apologies to her, but I knew—beyond a shadow of a doubt—that the hardships she endured will strengthen her for the future.
Here's the Much Bigger Picture: Multi languages aren't the point, multi languages are just the by-product of what we're aiming to do.
Our goal is to facilitate the development of what we're calling Resilient Pathways, neural paths shaping her mind for growth and the ability to bounce back after frustration and set-backs.
I walked over to the swings and began pushing Luna high into the overhanging treetops.
I explained to her that, together, as a family, we're learning how to become resilient. She's not alone.
As she learns new languages, her papi and I are learning new aspects of business, growth, disappointments, and disillusionment. And, yes, sometimes it feels like we're playing alone on the playground too.
But we're trusting that we're learning the lessons we need to equip ourselves for the future we want…it might be hard now, but it's shaping us for who we need to become to reach our goals.
If you're in a rough spot today, you're invited to join us on the playground. You're not alone, and we hope you choose to build a Resilient Pathway for yourself too.
Swinging high into the treetops,
JD, Luna, and Jasmine*