On of the most embarassing things about being Mexican American is that I don't speak Spanish. Really this is one of the only things that I'm embarassed about; I handle it one of two ways when people ask me about it: I ignore the question or make a smartass comment. The truth is that my parents raised us in a city that didn't embrace being bilingual -my how times have changed- so we were taught English in order to be successful in the place where we lived. I AM successful and so are my brothers. Growing up with a smack across the knuckles from your teacher for speaking Spainsh, my parents could never in a million years have imagined that not speaking Spanish would be such a pain. But it is.
In a city where I think the majortiy is Hispanic (it's hard to tell because in the census my race is white, but ethnicity is Hispanic. So white is the majority, but that includes Hispanics) people assume that my kids and I speak Spanish. Talk about pouring salt on an open wound. But while I'm in a corner licking my wounds my brillient daughter who so desperatly needs to relate to every person she encounters has just closed the gap on her lack of knowledge. If mommy isn't going to teach her spanish, gosh darnit she'll just make it up! Nothing will stop this child from making friends!
When she first starting doing this I would run and hang my head in shame, but I've had a change of heart and now I just stand next to her and smile like I understand everything she's saying and the person she's talking to is nuts for not understanding. **We are currently looking for Mommy and Me Spanish classes.**