Yesterday I was finally getting back into a German groove with Aleksander. As I searched my brain for a song to sing to him as I put him down for his nap, I was horrified to find I could hardly think of a single German song! What?! What happened to all the fabulous songs I’d added to my repertoire??? They seemed to have vanished. Uh oh. I’ve really done it now. I knew it had been too long since I’d spoken German regularly with Aleksander, but this was a big wake-up call.
I’ve also had something of a revelation about myself recently. I get so excited about new ideas and throw myself completely into them. After the initial excitement begins to fade, so does my commitment to following through with them. Examples you may have read about? How about the Multilingual Living Language Challenge … themed language learning … even running the German story hour at our local library. And these are just the few that are related to language. [sigh] In an attempt to reduce self-judgment (thanks in large part to my meditation class – to which I have similar commitment issues), I’m trying not to feel guilty about my lack of dedication but rather accept where I am and even have some compassion for myself. [ahhhh] So what I realize is that this pattern does not have to be a bad thing. I love the enthusiasm I feel when a new idea strikes. And even if the intensity of it doesn’t stick, it doesn’t mean I have to give up on the idea completely (which I am liable to do if I let the guilt take over). As Aleksander says throughout the day when he doesn’t get something right: “TRY AGAIN!” I love that Not only is it amazing that he knows that (at least most of the time), but he reminds me of it, too! I can pick up right where I am and start again from there.
Besides, you never know where one idea is going to lead. Although I am taking a long hiatus from running the German story hour at our library, something very exciting has happened because of the work I began. Several parents showed up looking for the story hour a few weeks ago, and when they discovered there was no story hour to attend, the librarian offered to let them stay and use the reading room for the kids to play. As a result, the library is offering a weekly time for a German playdate!!! I’m so thrilled to hear of this wonderful development! Although I haven’t been able to attend it yet (I plan to this Friday), I am still keeping a small hand in it by managing an email list and sending out reminders each week.
So, back to my wake-up call. At first Aleksander was rejecting my occasional attempts to speak German with him, but as I persisted he came around. And I’m pleased to say my idea of German-only DVDs is working out pretty well. His current favorites are Bob der Baumeister (Bob the Builder) and Kleiner roter Traktor (Little Red Tractor) – both British shows that we watch in German.
And otherwise, all I can do is continue to try – and try again!