I love languages, I have since I was in 6th Grade where I had my first brush with Spanish. Took a little German in college, and over the years have learned salutations in over a dozen languages. The Filipina caregivers are very impressed with my ten words of Tagalog as was my Egyptian coworker when I wrote my name in Arabic.
Unfortunately, my children are monolingual, and I’m not too sure its English they speak. The words are English, the grammar and syntax appear to be English, but, for the life of me, there are times I’m not fully understanding them, or they’re pulling the wool over my eyes. I texted my Author Talk flyer to all the kids, I got a few responses: cool, do I have to go? and finally, it’s gonna be lit! Huh? I know I’ve heard these phrases somewhere before, and then I had an epiphany. During one of our many “drive-bys” by the ocean, I heard their language, it’s their music, the lyrics from the songs they play…over and over and over again. They speak lyric-ese, some kind of new slang.
Since most attempts at conversation with my young people result in “huh?”, this is how I imagine they’d go if they did respond:
”Eva, what time you gonna be home? And don’t get in a car with a driver whose been drinking AND don’t take a drink from anyone.”
…Like why you so obsessed with me. What’s that suppose to mean? I’m your mother.
”Ellie, where are my clothes? Weren’t you gonna put them away?”
To the left, to the left, everything you own in the box to the left. Don’t sass me!
“Eloisa, what do you think you’ll do after you get out of school?”
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadow, if I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live as I believe. That’s, uhm, good. Relax, a little, we’re just talking about 8th grade.
‘’’Beasto, you’re so quiet, what are you thinking about?”
I got money on my mind, and my mind on my money. Good.
Espi, you’re almost done with school. How exciting! How does that make you feel?
Young, dumb, broke high school kid. Okaaay.
”Hey, quiet it down in there.”
Let’s get it started…hah! Let’s get it started in here. (They are bad kids.)
Well, two (or eleven) can play at that game. When I’m done raising these kids, I’m gonna take this job and shove it because I’ll be ready to take a chance again. I’ve looked at life from both sides now from win and lose and still somehow it’s life’s illusions I recall I really don’t know life at all, so if you miss the train I’m on, you will know that I am gone, you will hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.
I may never pass this way again so don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy, lighten up while you still can, don’t even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy. So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu, adieu, to you and you and you (+ 7). I’m glad to go I cannot tell a lie, I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly. And kiss today goodbye.