I’m excited to introduce Julia to you today! She’s a fellow multi-cultural mama – having an Argentinian heart and husband. We actually went to college together, but have recently become reunited now that our chiquititos are in the same preschool. I’m excited that they can speak Spanish with one another and our families can navigate this journey together 🙂
I emerged from the bedroom wearing my bathing suit and ready for an afternoon by the pool on a December day. My soon-to-be husband watched me with a critical eye.
“Mi amor, you cannot wear that!”
“What do you mean I cannot wear this?”
I was dressed in a modest black two-piece with what I thought to be a cute short bathing suit skirt.
“Take off the skirt”
He proceeded to pull at the skirt and then was onto my bathing suit bottoms as I swatted him away.
“And pull up the sides.” As he pulled he began to give me a wedgie. I was a white-bottomed girl from New England and my behind had never seen the sun!
“Trust me,” my fiancé said. How dare he care, let alone control, what I wear to the pool!
But as I walked outside and saw every women from 10 to 60 years old sporting thong bikinis I began to understand and realize that I needed to trust my ally that would help me navigate this new multicultural life.
Not every transition has been as shocking and embarrassing as strutting my first thong bikini with a white bottom on a beach in South America but I would say this marriage of cultures and languages has allowed me to be more confident in myself and more flexible in my priorities and ideas about life.
We are currently raising two Castellano speaking (Argentine Spanish), matte drinking (Argentine tea) boys here in the United States. We are loving the adventure and I am learning to trust my ally (aka my husband) in much more than just wardrobe choices. We are learning how to make Spanish speaking a priority, time with family from Argentina happen, and how to give ownership of culture and language to our boys. We are determined that Argentina will not just be the country that their father is from but the country they are from. It is taking teamwork and commitment on both sides. It is hard work and can feel like another value that we are placing on the pile of expectations for our life. But then I hear my son ask, “Is our blood blue because we’re from Argentina?” And I know that it is sinking in. He feels ownership and believes our whole family is from Argentina even though his mom is learning right alongside her boys. And the struggle to learn Spanish and embrace a new culture is all worth it! Because this merge of two cultures, values and languages starts with me. If I embrace it and make it my own so will my boys. And so I begin to use Argentine slang (“vos sos re linda”), drink matte and travel thousands of miles to celebrate Christmas using different traditions even if I feel silly or it is challenging at times because this is our own version of how to build a bi-lingual, bi-cultural family.
Are you a multicultural mama that would be willing to share your story? Please be sure to contact me!