1. Get a mobile phone.
2. Sign up for WhatsApp, a free mobile texting plan
3. Find the Queen Bee room mother, and in strangled Spanish, express your desire to become a member of the texting”grupo” for your respective class.
4. Discover, much to your dismay, that texting Spanish is not the same as the Spanish in your textbook.
5. Spend twenty minutes reading, “Oye chicas os kiero agradecer a tooodas las q m habeis.” Figure out that it means, “Oye, chicas. Os quiero agradecer a todos las que me habeis”
6. Spend another twenty minutes figuring out what that means in English
7. Multiply steps 5-6 twenty million times a day, as you learn that the Spanish mothers love them some WhatsApp.
8. Read the 200 messages sent in a fifteen minute period to determine that they need people to bring food for a potluck.
9. Volunteer to bring in cupcakes. Discover that they want only Spanish foods.
10. Sign up to make tomato salad. Over the course of the next week, get fifteen different texts and four separate conversations clarifying that you are in fact bringing in tomato salad.
11. Somewhere during this, discover that the director requests your presence in being the master of ceremonies for a school assembly, translating information into English.
14. Present, along with a Spanish speaking friend, as the students do a play, sing three songs, and do four types of dance. Remind the group, as you stand on the stage, that you need, “Silencio, por favor.”
15. As you leave, you hear your phone ping, congratulating you for a job well done, and a friendly reminder to bring in tomato salad.
16. On the day of the pot luck, tell the queen bee that you can’t remember what you’re bringing in. Enjoy the moment.
17. Spend the morning chopping vegetables in the school cafeteria, and setting the beers on ice for the teachers to enjoy during lunch.
18. Read 35 WhatsApp messages recounting the events of the potluck. Feel a bit more included.
19. Find out that when they aren’t planning potlucks, the mothers use WhatsApp to talk about the attractive men featured in telenovelas. Feel a lot more included.
20. Listen to your son say that he was happy to see you at school. Send a WhatsApp to tell your friends. Smile.