(Photo by Dave Christenson)

SpanglishBaby: A letter to my future bilingual and bicultural daughter

Dear Mija,

When your daddy and I got married, we wrote our own vows. Vows are kind of like promises that are deeply personal, but you say in front of family and friends at a wedding. On that day in my white dress and lace veil, holding your dad’s hand, I told him:

I promise to respect your heritage and your culture and one day teach our children about the beauty found in our differences.

We made lots of promises that day and we’re learning what it means to live those out. But by far this is the promise that I sometimes struggle most with. And now that you’re coming in a few months I often wonder how I will teach you about your two cultures and the beauty found in our differences.

I know that I will teach you how to make pancakes and ponche. And we will probably have wheat bread and tortillas on the table.

You will learn how to say con permiso before entering someone’s house and muchas gracias before leaving the table. I will probably always call you mija and ask you “¿que te pasó?” when your eyes fill up with tears because some words just sound better in Spanish.

I will teach you about playing with bubbles, baking chocolate chip cookies and reading bedtime stories. Your daddy will probably let you ride on the back of his motorcycle and show you how to play with fireworks.  I told him he has to at least wait until you’re 5, but kids in Guatemala get introduced to fireworks before they can walk.

To read the rest of the letter go to SpanglishBaby.com

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