Tom the Cat

1453399_10202889418496438_1023651365_nLanguage acquisition sometimes feels like the cartoons of my youth, where Tom the Cat steps on the rake and gets smacked in the face. Again. And Again. And Again.

Verbs blur, words disappear, and people grow facial hair as they wait for me to finish a phrase. And I do the same maddening exercise, day after day after day. Step. Smack. Ow. Etc.

But then, with all that face-smacking, there are also days like today. Days where the words just unlock themselves, and dance happily in the air. I made small talk today, people. Chatting with the madres at drop-off, with the construction workers, and even with a policeman. I made jokes. Actually understood and funny jokes. En Espanol. 

I’ve learned that in a single day, I can have moments like this, followed by a reality check where I spend five minutes attempting to explain my need for an itemized receipt, or a specific type of notebook, or the countless other bits of ephemera that clutter my days.

Language acquisition is less like Kansas and more like Colorado…..hills, valleys, plateaus, But you know? With all due respect to those in Kansas—Colorado is breathtaking. Exhilarating. Worth the extra effort.

So this morning was a good language day. I hold days like this in my pocket, and carry them with me. They soften the blow of the rake.

Like Tom the Cat, I keep on going, as if nothing happened.

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One thought on “Tom the Cat

  1. I’m so proud of you. Not sure I have said that – among the compliments I throw around to your beautiful writing. Yes, I love your words. But wow. Your LANGUAGE.

    That’s something to celebrate.

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