I hate that I am not bilingual.
I certainly have had opportunity.
I have had in-laws whose native language was Spanish, I have worked for 10 years in a place in Mexico that is so dear to my heart it feels like home and family, and I live in the fourth largest city in the United States where at least 44 % of the population speak Spanish.
Spanish could have been my second language.
I have excused myself with the reason that I have no linguistic aptitude. It is an insufficient excuse. We can do what we want to do, at least at some level, if we try. (Although Spanish or any other language would never have rolled off my tongue anything other than Gringa-like.)
I realize that it’s not just the fact of knowing the language that I am missing out on. It’s the context. Words are powerful and to know a language means you have the chance to know the heart that proffered the culture. You have a pass into a different way of thinking about things and for things Mexican, it means I get it beyond jalapenos, flour tortillas and pinatas, which by the way have my undying admiration.
But just imagine how much richer my life could be.
Last Sunday, in the church that I have gone to off and on for most of my life in Houston, I went to Spanish Sunday school. Just like Houston, this local church is diverse and I have heard rumors about the