I don’t speak a lot of Spanish. I mean, I can, but my accent is appalling. JESSE has the better accent of the two of us and I started life speaking Spanish only first. In America today English is a MUST and Spanish is useful. I know that I would like any future children I may have to speak Spanish for their own benefit, but see things working out with my kids like they did with me. Growing up in a English first household means you don’t practice, means you don’t retain, means you don’t speak Spanish well. There is one word I’ve found in Spanish though that I cannot get rid of and I will most definitely impart on my kids: Mande!?

Mande is what I was taught to always respond to someone who’s calling you. it’s a sign of respect. It is the proper greeting when being called up, not called on the phone. If someone were to call my name, generally, I would say, “Yes?” However this can be taken incorrectly and in Spanish, just saying “Si?” is not very polite. It’s not IMpolite mind you, but not super polite either.

The reason I want my kids to carry on this tradition is I want them to have a healthy dose of “This is the line, you do not cross it.” Now, I know that sounds silly coming from me as I am one to often find the line and step over it, trying to determine if you’ll move it a little further or smack me for going too far. Even I know that I should mind myself in certain settings and in front of certain people.

So in a few years, my kids will probably not have the same accent as I do when saying the word “tortilla” or forget the word for counter top in English, but they will say, “Mande?” every time I call them. I hope they learn more. I hope they become fluent, I hope they utilize Spanish more than I ever have, but I know that even if I’m not teaching them a language, I’m still teaching them manners.