The last two days I have been feeling very discouraged about my progress with learning German. I’m in two different classes with the same teacher for moms in Ethan’s school and moms in a neighboring school who need to learn the language and I am apparently the one who knows the least. In fact, it seems as though everyone else can understand and speak the language fairly well. Our teacher is a German lady who knows very little English and so she speaks only German. In theory, this is very good because I’m forced to use only German. However, I have no idea what anyone is saying or asking or doing. I pick up a few words here and there and am getting very good at reading body language, but typically I have no idea what is going on. The rest of the ladies are from different countries and so I have no one to speak to unless I can figure out how to say it in German. I usually tell myself that it’s no big deal and I’m doing great having only been in the country for 5 months and the other ladies have been here for 10+ years, but for some reason this week it has really gotten to me. I have been really frustrated with it and myself for not remembering the vocabulary and recognizing or understanding words. I have a lot of stories of idiotic moments I have had in class. It is a very humbling experience.
After realizing how I have been feeling I started to really worry about Ethan and what he must be going through because he is in a similar situation, but probably worse. So today after school I asked him if he ever gets frustrated with the language.
Ethan: “What do you mean?”
Me: “Do you ever get frustrated not being able to understand what people are saying to you or know what is going on around you?”
Ethan: “No. Do you?”
Me: “Very much so.”
Ethan: “You can’t let yourself get frustrated, Mom. You just have to know that it will come and keep trying. I’m understanding a lot more now and it’s getting a lot easier.”
Ethan is a very wise 6 year old! He amazes me everyday with his positive attitude and his perseverance. I’m hoping I can be like him someday.