Thursday, April 30, 2009

On Saying Hola and Blowing Kisses

If you're wondering if I'm ever going to comb my hair again, the answer is maybe. Working at a garden center has its benefits. No one notices or cares if you wear ratty clothes and a hat every single day. Just thought I'd throw that out there...

You may or may not know that nearly every member of my family speaks a foreign language.
Missions are beneficial that way. It breaks down like this:

Dad, Mom, my two brothers and my sister-in-law served in Brazil. (And now Dad and the boys can speak Spanish fluently too.)

My three younger sisters and one sister-in-law served in Spanish speaking countries. (Panama, Chile, and two in Spain.)

Bec and I served here in the United States, English speaking. (I'm mostly not bitter now.)
We studied Spanish in high school and then I studied it mucho more after high school. I'm not as fluent as I'd like to be...but I can hold my own. Becca speaks more than she thinks she does.

My brother-in-law served in Italy but you would be surprised at the Spanish he throws out.

I'm not sure that my brothers know how to speak a full sentence in English. I'm not sure that any of us do. It can be highly entertaining. Whenever we sing 'Happy Birthday' we sing it in English AND Portuguese. It's a requirement.

Anyway...

The little kids speak a few words here and there. They all say hola and adios and bien and stuff. The nephews say a bit more...Nick can say que pasa, and no pasa nada, and Josh can say even more.

For a long while my nieces thought that any Latino was simply called 'Hola.' One night we were at Wal Mart and Gabi and Erika got so excited. "Look Noelle! It's a whole bunch of Holas!" Can you be any more innocent than that?

We have guys from Mexico who have worked for us forever and they are like family. The little kids adore them and have no fear of using what Spanish they do know. Sami, who is just learning how to talk, came to the nursery yesterday to play with Grandpa.

She and Becca stopped to say hi to me. She pointed to one of the guys and said, "la...la." Becca said, "she's saying 'hola'". The guy turned around and said, "Hola Sami." Sami said, "la" and then went a step further than any of the others have ever dared, and blew him a kiss. I'm pretty sure it made his day.

5 comments:

David G. Woolley said...

I didn't know that "stuff" was a Spanish word. What does it mean?

Maybe you could tell me better if I used it in context:

"They all say hola and adios and bien and stuff."

Please translate.

PS: When I do my nursery field trip, can I get some strawberries, some pretty hanging pots, seeds, and a Sami-blown kiss?

Amy said...

Kids can get away with stuff I could NEVER pull off. Fat rolls, 'hola'ing "the guys", falling over on a regular basis, AND blowing kisses to random strangers (and Woolley).

They have no idea how good they have it.

David G. Woolley said...

Hey:

The name is Dave. Not Woolley. I get no respect here. And Noelle refuses to referee any of you guys. If I ever met you in person, watch out for your hub caps.

Amy said...

Dear David G.,

If your last name weren't so freaking cool, my life would be easier. And my hubcaps safer. Any chance you'll get a new last name?

Manda said...

Sorry Mr. Woolley...but Woolley it is! Go Spanish!!! Anddddd....Sami is cute :) I testify to this.