Different tongues.

We’re in the beautiful northern suburbs of Pittsburgh, near where my parents grew up across the street from each other.  The past day and a half have been a blur of fantastic public parks, fun museums, nostalgic family stories, friendly people, and Eat-n-Park.  Will loves the mountains.  Paul finally explained that ‘we can’t afford mountains in Louisiana’ and ‘they only can be built in places where there is a lot of snow and ice in the winter,’ because Will could not understand why we can’t just build up a few winding mountain roads with bubbling streams through the center of New Orleans.  He is also picking up on the fact that people here say things a little differently.  Words like “yins” (like you all, but not) and “worsh” which is something you do to clean things like clothes and dishes.  We’ve been impressing upon him that there are many ways to pronounce words, and along those lines, that maybe he should be a little more gracious when he corrects our American pronouncation French words?  Or at least not visibly roll his eyes and groan when we make the word “poisson” rhyme with “son”.

The kids’ school called me on my cell phone this morning, while I was leaving the bathroom in the basement of the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum with Will.  It did not take long for them to have me pegged as a sucker who can’t say no someone who likes to be involved.  And now, I’m on the School Council (Conseil d’ecole), which is an elected position (when, in situations not like this one, where more than one person throws their name into the ring) required for accreditation from the French Ministry of Education to act as a voice for the class on school issues.  While that description isn’t the most informative, it’s all I know, and am excited to have the chance to learn more about how these cross-national schools work, although I know little about early childhood education and even less about French educational requirements.  Then I was flashing to the LHAN board meetings, which are often in Spanish and where I can follow along reasonably well but have to use English to speak (so embarrassing, but if I have to take the time to think how to talk in Spanish, the conversation has passed me by) — and I began to have visions of these meetings all in French.  Because that would just make sense for me to be involved in two community volunteering roles in two different languages I cannot speak fluently.