We had a nice day walking in Clifton Gorge with the kids. It is not an easy walk with three children in tow. However, it is well worth the effort. We had to beware of slippery rocks and dangerously high clifts (hense. the name. Clifton Gorge or as those that know, Clifty Gorge).
I had the four year old and three year old, each by a hand. Vilay was in charge of the littlest Pie due to Boy Blue’s growing weight. He is HEAVY, now!
Sweet Bear gabbered all the while in French and in English. I spent this time speaking with her in French. I do speak with the kids in French at times so that they can understand that we are really a Franco-American family. Honestly, it just seems natural to switch back and forth between the languages now. So much so that today Vilay was speaking to me in French and I answered him in English. The funny thing was that I was thinking in my head that the guy just near us getting into his car could understand it all. So, I answered Vilay in a timid manner. Vilay was teasing me that I could get Boy Blue out of the car sometimes. I jokingly answered back that he could do the laundry sometimes. I never realized that Vilay had spoken in French until we were inside McDonalds. Yes, we were lazy and bad parents today for not cooking lunch. Then, I understood that the look on the guys face wasn’t due to his amusement of Vilay’s comment but it was due to his interest in Vilay speaking French. It is not common to hear French around here. The point is that I don’t separate the languages any longer. I hear French or English and don’t think, “Oh…that is French or that is English.” I just answer in French or English as I feel like at the time.
Ten years ago I would never have thought like this. France was like a fairytale that I dreamed of visiting someday. Now, France is in my mind, heart and soul as much as America is. I am Franco-American. There is no going back.
If you can read French, Vilay’s account of today is here.