I've come to the conclusion that sharing Abel's Mexican heritage with Lucas is more important to me than it is to Abel. I think this is because as a European mutt, I don't really have much of my own cultural heritage.
Name a country, I've got an ancestor from there:
Scotland? Check. Sweden? Check. Germany? Check. Ireland? Check.
And on it goes.
Sure, in college I was more than happy to proclaim "Kiss me I'm Irish" but growing up we never really celebrated the holiday like true Irishmen. We didn't have any cultural holidays or traditions. I think if I had to identify a cultural element in my family, it would be that of Catholicism, rather than any country or region.
Abel, on the other hand, comes with a true cultural heritage. He primarily spoke Spanish until kindergarten. His parents prefer to speak Spanish and are most comfortable around other Mexicans. I swear, my father-in-law only eats Mexican food. Well, and occasionally a rice dish from a Chinese take-out place. (But, he explains, it is rice; what's more Mexican than rice?)
And so I've always known that we'd share Abel's Mexican heritage with our children. Not only did I know that, I truly looked forward to it. I also looked forward to raising bilingual kids.
I took years of Spanish in high school and college. My minor was Latin American Studies. While I am far from fluent, I have a decent accent and can read anything (just don't ask me what it means!). So before Lucas was born we bought Spanish baby books. When he was just weeks old we bought Spanish music CDs.
By the time Lucas was 2 months old, I had the the songs memorized and was singing and reading books to Lucas in Spanish throughout the day. As for Abel, I don't know why, but he just didn't get into the groove of speaking to Lucas in Spanish. Except for a few body parts (which Lucas can successfully identify in Spanish) Abel only speaks to Lucas in English.
And so I was SHOCKED the other day when, out of the blue, Lucas counted from 1-8 in Spanish.
Don't get me wrong, though, as surprised as I was to hear the words come out of his mouth, I knew exactly who had taught this to him.
And it certainly wasn't Abel.
It was my crush. Good old Handy Manny.
And with that, I think I finally figured out how to get Abel to talk to Lucas in Spanish. Urging didn't work. Cajoling didn't work. Guilting didn't work.
Being one-upped by a cartoon character?