Cubling and I are currentling visiting Opa (granddad) in Germany. It's a rather short visit, yet I'm trying to cram a lot into these four days, four day out of a total of 16 that Cubling will this year have spent in my country of birth. Our first trip around Easter led to an explosion of her active language capacity in German. All of which has since stagnated. We are at a stage where Cubling's sentences are English, with German nouns and occasionally verbs and adjectives sprinkled in, if I insist. The kind of "I want that Brot nicht!" (I don't want that bread).
So I'm hoping that she'll be getting a lot out of this visit, especially since she does know the difference between the languages now, and that there are different languages. More than the language, I'm also seeping up the culture, feed her sausages and Reibekuchen, buy supplies for making a latern for St Martin's Day, think about creating advent wreaths and calendars which too are different in Germany. I even go as far as planning to cook some German fare on my return, finally get around to organise a local German playgroup.
I'm overwhelmed by possibilities. Possibilities which are facilitated because I live in a big cities where we have some resources for creating networks of German-Scottish families. Time is limited to be fair, but at least we have these options. And we have the lantern parade for St Martin's Day, a German Kinderclub and lots of activities that can foster a sense of having two cultures to draw from. These four days, if not for Cubling, at least for me fill me with refreshed enthusiasm to create a bicultural home for her. I'm full of ideas, full of plans.
And nothing beats my pride at hearing her speak the occasional sentence in German. And my pride to hear her confidently chat up strangers in English. I love English, and I love to hear her to speak English so perfectly. I'm simply awestruck by my bilingual girl, even if her bilingualism is anything but balanced.
To see her play, dance have such fun with my Spanish-German friends' children, who are bilingual in their own way. To see her intuitively connect with them, still mixing languages, but clearly having no trouble communicating at all.
Here's to some lantern making upon my return.