Songs in a Park

Today is a Sunday and that means a good portion of the day was spent in a local park with my son. I’m still a little sun-bleached and likely a little sandy, but it was a fantastic day.

One neat little nugget was when my son wanted to play one of the games that he learned in daycare. It is a little tag game where one person is it (and in this game they are a sleeping bear.) Everyone else sings a little song, and when the song ends the bear wakes up and tags as many people as they can.

There was one hitch. I didn’t know the song.

The good news was that he could teach it to me and soon we were running and playing. Many giggles were had.

It isn’t the first time that he has needed to teach me a song. But it is the first time where he seemed confused that I didn’t know something. It is a natural part of growing up.

But, as I write this, a different thought pops into my head. When does he get to the point where he realizes that my language and language skill is truly different than the people around us? How much does he realize now?

All his life he has witnessed me flow between languages, speaking to him in English and almost everyone else in Japanese. It’s what is natural. When does he start really wondering why? And what will his thoughts be when he understands that there is so much I don’t understand in Japanese?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have a pretty decent grasp of the language. But I am not a native speaker and could greatly benefit from studying more. But I am thinking about the future and what he will think. In this world where more and more people are starting to wonder about immigrants, how will he see his place and the place of his father?

Or perhaps I’m just getting slightly forlorn as bedtime approaches.


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