We decided a few years ago that we wanted Keaton to be in dual language. We thought it would be amazing for him to learn Spanish… little did we know it would be a decision that benefited him, us in ways we didn’t even understand.
Dual language in our district is structured different than many other places. Kindergarten last year was 90% Spanish and 10%English… aka it meant Keaton would be fully immersed. Quickly we realized we were all learning so much more than a language. Matthew and I started to, in a small way, understand what it is like for parents who don’t speak English as their first language.
A few week ago, the school nurse from Keaton’s school saw me in HEB and stopped me. She told me how a few weeks earlier Keaton had helped her. He translated for a few classmates during a hearing and vision screening. My heart was so proud… when I picked him up from school I asked about it. He said it had happened and for him that was the end of it. You see, he saw it as no big deal. He helped a friend. He didn’t boast, he didn’t act superior, he saw it as what you are supposed to do. His reaction reminded me that his dual language goes beyond learning another language. He has learned compassion, understanding, empathy… He has learned that differences are not to be criticized, but celebrated. He fully sees you help your friend and that doesn’t make you special… it is normal.
His reaction, his experience is the complete opposite of what I see in the behavior of adults. I love the song “Where is the Love” by Black Eyed Peas.
I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I’m gettin’ older, y’all people gets colder
Most of us only care about money-makin’
Selfishness got us followin’ the wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema
Yo, whatever happened to the values of humanity? (Yeah)
Whatever happened to the fairness and equality? (Yeah)
Instead of spreading love, we spreading animosity (Yeah)
Lack of understanding leading us away from unity
That’s the reason why sometimes I’m feelin’ under
That’s the reason why sometimes I’m feelin’ down
It’s no wonder why sometimes I’m feelin’ under
I have to be honest… I am struggling right now. I am teaching my kid that to listen, to understand, to find common ground with others… yet what I see in the world is so much hate, judgment, self-righteousness… a lack of willingness to listen to others.
I asked my husband tonight if we are lying to our son? We are teaching these values that we believe are important, but yet nothing I am experiencing reflect what we are teaching.
People killin’, people dyin’
Children hurtin’, hear them cryin’
Can you practice what you preach?
And would you turn the other cheek?
Father, father, father, help us
Send some guidance from above
‘Cause people got me, got me questioning
Where is the love?
I want to keep hoping, believing, but it is hard. So many times we like to blame kids, the youth for their actions… yet right now, I see their actions so much more reflecting love than the adults. I want to keep believing love will rise, but I admit I am discouraged… my heart hurts… my hope is running thin… I will find motivation because my son deserves this… the kids I serve deserve this…. I only hope the adults in our society see the impact our actions have on children.