Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Cathartic Bolt Hole"

Last Saturday, I received a particularly meaningful comment on my Talker at Two post.
It went like this:

Hi Tamara

Serendipity definitely brought me to your blog this morning.

I have very recently embarked upon the non-native adventure myself and vacillate between confidence and doubts. This morning I awoke extremely doubtful as to whether I could do this and whether i should carry on.

I had set up my own blog earlier in the week to try and inspire me and keep me on the positive path. So i Googled it on my cell to try and read it whilst in bed this morning. I didn't find my blog... but i did find yours. I have started reading from the beginning and feel bouyed once more.

I have been extremely surprised by how up and down you can feel on the non-native journey. This morning when i was doubtful, to just happen upon your blog and read about your initial doubts too - somehow that made me feel stronger and focused once again. So thank you.

I will be following your blog from now on.

I highlight and share this comment here because, when I read it, I got shivers throughout my entire body.

As you may know, I started this blog on Kaya's first birthday, 13 months ago today, in the hopes that I could not only find support for me in this journey, but in hopes of being able to offer support to others in a similar position.

Maman's willingness to respond so honestly leaves me with that epic 'dream come true' feeling, and for that, I am SO thankful. Knowing that someone else is out there, "following in my footsteps" and feeling, as she added in a later comment, "safer there than [she has] for a good while," makes my heart skip a beat and my blood flow a little faster.

Suddenly, in the past few months, I've begun to really see the value of community, particularly, the value in declaring the communities that are most important to us. Bilingual and multilingual parents, and in particular, those raising their children in their non-native language, are very important communities for me. From them, I find a great deal of support, as 'distant' as everyone may be. Despite the physical separation, I feel incredibly connected to so many of them, to all of them really, knowing that we are in this together, doing what we believe will make the world a better place, for our children and ultimately, for all of humanity.

It's like feeling connected to my mom even though she's gone. She doesn't have to be here for me to feel that connection. It's all about what's inside, the feeling of oneness that I allow and nourish in my soul.

Yes, it definitely helps to hear from you parents. Without a doubt. Despite my focus on this particular post, I appreciate hearing from all of you. Every one of us is doing this for a reason, and I'd imagine (despite my fear of assumption), that all of us have had our fears and doubts somewhere along our journey. That's part of being human, right? And that humanness, esp. the willingness to accept it, allows me to feel connected to all of you.

So, thank you.
Thank you, Maman.
Thank you, Sarah.
Thank you, bilingual and multilingual parents so willing to share your language with our children and your thoughts with me.

And thank you, friends and family, for all of your support in this process. Without you, I'm confident that I would have given up LONG ago! With your help, Kaya is really bilingual now, speaking more and more German EVERY day, much to my delight (the English is a given, being the community language, the language spoken between Mom and Dad, as well as the lovely language of the frustrations that she hears me spew all too often at the dogs!).

The sun shines on Portland and brings much light to this amazing adventure in language!

p.s. Cathartic Bolt Hole?!! Bonne Maman used this phrase in her last comment to me, saying that she wants to use her blog as such. I fell in love with the phrase, and had to 'borrow' it for today's title...because clearly, my blog, over time, has become that, too. I love the internet...a personal hole (of the bolt hole style) just isn't quite as cathartic! By the way, check out her blog, Our Non-native Bilingual Adventure, and let her know you're out there! She'd love the support, I'm sure!


  1. I feel really jealous right now! I wish I was strong enough to speak only English to my daughter... Congratulations Tamara, Bonne Maman and all the other brave mums. I'm with you.

  2. Oh yes, your blog is *definitely* an encouragement to those of us just starting out! I'm looking forward to reading Bonne Maman's blog, too. :)

  3. Mamay and Monika,
    Your comments brought smiles to me as well. Thank you SO much for your presence and your passion for language, in whatever form you create it!

  4. Thanks so much for your kind and supportive words Tamara. I can hardly believe that it is only a week today since I started my blog and my confidence in the whole non-native process has rocketed in that time due to the support I have received from you and others through my blog.

    As you say - there is a wonderful multilingual community out there and I can really sense the feeling that we are all in this together and all want for each other to succeed.

  5. I concur! Thank you to all the non-native-speaking parents who are blogging about raising their kids bi/multilingually despite the challenges and our own doubts.

    Yes we can!

  6. LOVE the picture of the three of you! :)


I LOVE reading your comments, they make such a difference! Thanks for sharing!