My son’s second question after meeting anyone for the first time has become the standard, “And what language do you speak?”
It’s no wonder that he’s gotta sort this one out from the start. From the Philippines to Germany and now northern Italy, he’s interacted—and reacted—in several languages.
We are raising bi-lingual children, observing how effortlessly they learn and form words, phrases, and sentences to communicate. I say “observe” because the truth is, we don’t have to “teach” much at all. It’s simply always German with their father; always English with me, consistently.
Karsten can switch, translate, and go from one language to the next in the same conversation with the two of us parents, without even thinking about it. His sister, although she doesn’t talk yet, makes it clear that she understands every word—in either language—and will soon catch up verbally.
I am also constantly amazed at the fearless way they will start communicating with random strangers. When going for walks, my son always tries to listen for the sound of other languages.
If it’s German, he’ll be so pleased: “Sie sprechen auch Deutsch!” (They also speak German!)
If English, he’ll talk about superheroes and space. “Do you watch Futurama and LEGO movie Batman?”
If Italian, he’ll use what little he knows: “Giocare con me!”(Play with me!)
He can recognize the sound of Dutch, but not how to speak it—only that his friend Anna, went back home to Amsterdam last month, and she is Dutch.
He’s quick at translating one word to the next, one meaning to another in an entirely different language.
But usually, we have to explain the bigger words and their definitions. Kinda keeps me on my toes—or in my thinking head.
Yesterday, he asked me: “What does “Possibility mean?”
I had to pause and ponder a moment.
“When something is possible, it’s doable. It could happen. You could make it happen,” I replied.
He spun contentedly on the swing while digesting in his busy brain, this new, five-syllable word. It sounds nearly the same in Italian: Possibile…yet very different in German: Möglichkeit
For me, the word POSSIBILITY carries so much hope.
It’s probable…it’s achievable. It’s reachable.
And I do believe it is important to teach our children to achieve, to reach, to do, and to dream.
Possibility starts with a dream, doesn’t it? When it’s possible, you don’t give up hoping. You don’t give up that dream.
Are you carrying possibility in your heart today?
Are you letting yourself reach for something you never thought possible before?
Are you doing, daring, and defying the odds?
And are you working at it with faith in your heart?
Well then, it WILL be possible for you!
…and speaking of possibilities, this week, my son begins his fifth school in a new country. With a new sprache/ lingua/language.
For sure it will be a challenge at first, but later, a guaranteed asset. Soon his world may be as diverse as the languages his tongue can speak. We’ll make it happen, one day at a time.
“tutti è possibile!”
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” –John Lennon
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”—Emily Dickinson
…so tell me, what does the word “POSSIBILITY” mean to you?