Get Your Teen Magazine in your inbox! Sign Up
Logo
Get Print Edition

I’m Out of the Loop! My Teens Speak Spanish So I Won’t Understand

I have always wanted my kids to be close with each other. And now that they are older, I see that happening. It’s actually so sweet to watch—they converse with each other in a foreign language. Well, it’s sweet to watch, but it’s not so sweet for me to listen.

I’m Not in the Loop!

I came back from work to find my two kids in the kitchen. As soon as they saw me, they broke into Spanish. And yes, I took Spanish in high school, but that was a really long time ago and I don’t remember a single thing. As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure I learned much Spanish in high school, anyway. But that’s not the point.

The point is that the kids were talking with each other in a foreign language, specifically because they knew I wouldn’t be able to understand them.

I’m aced out in my own home. I brought them into this world, raised them, brought them up—and now they’re here completely excluding me from their lives.

Even more upsetting, I could tell they were getting a kick out of it. And there was nothing I could do about it.

Regrets and Realizations

Boy, I wished that I had paid attention in Spanish class all those years ago. I applauded myself for understanding a few basic words, but I didn’t have a clue as to the content of their discussion. It could’ve been about anything!

Talk about feeling marginalized.

It brought back those feelings I had as a young kid, back when my grandparents would speak their native tongue so that the grandchildren couldn’t understand what they were saying. And now, so many years later, it happens the other way around. Why does everyone want to keep me in the dark?

Valerie Newman

Valerie Newman lives in Connecticut with her husband and two kids. When Valerie started mixing up her kid’s college applications with her mother’s nursing home applications, she knew she was part of the sandwich generation.