Hello to all our readers. I'm very excited and nervous about being part of this blog with all these wonderful ladies. I hope I live up to all your expectations.
Before I get into the good stuff let me tell you a little about myself. First, I am a Chicagoan that has lived in the same neighborhood (house for that matter) my entire life. (I need stability and I am pretty predictable.) I've been married for 12 years to a wonderful man, Jose, who is professional truck driver. He's from a small town in Mexico, Jamay, Jalisco. This town is about an hour from Guadalajara. We have 3 daughters Gabriela Veronica (Gaby), soon to be 9, Karla Maria who is 3 and a half, and Andrea Isabel who is 16 months. I am also a teacher at Farragut Career Academy in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago.
My entire life has been a juggling act between the Mexican culture at home and the American culture outside the house. From what language should I speak to my friends to "what if they find out I like Mexican music?". Well, now I'm trying to raise 3 girls to be proud and not hide any of their cultures. I want them to be comfortable and fit into both. It hasn't been easy but something is working because it appears to me that Gaby, the oldest, is adjusting quite well.
Our biggest struggle is getting Gaby to speak Spanish. We don't want her to lose the language because then she won't be able to communicate with family in Mexico. We only spoke to her in Spanish until she went to school. She goes to a private school where 75% of the students are Hispanic. Some of her classmates speak Spanish and some don't. But, as a Spanish teacher, I want her to speak the language and eventually read it and write it.
It was easy until this past summer when she no longer wanted to speak Spanish. She just wanted to speak in English and when her father or I say, "En espanol," she would sigh and force herself to speak in Spanish. She literally struggled. So we told her that she wouldn't be able to communicate with family in Mexico when we went for Christmas and that no one would talk to her because they wouldn't understand her.
And that is when the Lopez Spanish Bootcamp started. English would be spoken for anything related to school and for everything else it would be Spanish. It worked! She has being doing much better automatically puts herself in the language mode without us telling her. This has proven to be effective (so far), because when we were in Mexico we were complemented about her Spanish speaking. Maybe we were just exaggerating on this Spanish quest but we really don't want her to lose it.
But remember, one down, two more to go. Find out how we are doing with our other two girls living in a bi cultural world.
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