Saturday, 20 September 2008

How to Make Friends on A Playground in Spain

Step 1: Head to the park at an hour when your body seems to be saying "Isn't this dinner time?"

Step 2: Bring your own soccer ball.

Step 3: Call everyone "Buddy" or "Friend".

English not necessary.

This evening we took a walk to a small fenced in playground area a bit of a distance from our park. We were looking to use up some toddler energy with the walk, and give them a chance to play on actual playground equipment.

Bram wanted to bring his "special ball" that Grandma sent back from the states for him. Mind you, this fenced in area is just big enough to have a slide, a swing set, and a couple of benches. There's not a lot of room to kick or chase a ball. But there was no arguing with Bram.

It was so endearing to watch him start up a game with a couple of kids, I guess from the neighborhood. Bram doesn't care if you speak his language. He doesn't care if he fully understands your's. If you're willing to play, you are now his friend.

Tonight, as we went around the dinner table sharing the best part of our day (another family tradition we're cooking up) Bram said "I played with my friend at the park. Yep. That was the best part of my day."


My ADHD Me said...

Hurray for the new sofa and chairs. That probably cheered up your whole room.
If must be SO difficult to live daily in a country that speaks a different language. Do you speak Spanish very well? I took the mandatory Spanish 1 and 2 in middle school (about a hundred years ago). I remember muy bien but don't remember chau.
As for Jonus's teeth...well, it's a good thing you don't have anything else to do to keep you busy...sigh. :)
Isn't it amazing how kids can make friends so easily. I wonder at what age do we lose that skill?
Anyway, keep your head are doing a wonderful thing.

Jeff and Valerie Carr said...

It's inspiring how easily the boys will take to people. (and distressing all at the same time) If you pay attention to them, you are there friend. They open a lot of doors for ministry that otherwise would be very hesitant with us.

I am fluent in Spanish. I spent a seminary internship for a summer in Argentina, and then a second one in Madrid. I like to think I'm Latina on the inside...but very pale and American looking on the outside...(Chau = Bye, I think it might be slang, but Bram hears me say it all the time 'cause I learned it in Argentina and it just stuck.)

Thanks for all the encouragement, adhd! I laugh out loud as I read your stuff, then I laugh again as I read it to my husband.

Jeff and Valerie Carr said...

geesh, I need to start spell checking!!!

My ADHD Me said...

Chau...I'll try to remember that...Adios

Edie said...

Hi - I popped over from ADHD's blog. I will have to look around a bit. I love how easily kids remember the best part like that, and it's always something so basic.

My grandma is Spaniard. I believe she has family in Madrid. She has lived in California for most of her life but she clings to her Spanish roots. At one point she subscribed to a cable option for programs from Spain. Then she discovered it cost! Ha!

Nice meeting you. I will come back and visit.

Chatty Kelly said...

Hi! I am My ADHD Me's sister. She said we (our bloggy group) should all come over her and visit you. So here I am, all the way in Spain to say hi. "HI!"

Thank you for the work you are doing for God! How long are you in Spain for? My bible study group recently did a study of the Salvation Army. It was very interesting.

Best wishes!

Sue J. said...

ADHDMe has a number of us coming over to visit, and I'm so glad she did. I immediately pick up a great warmth from your blog, Valerie! (Thanks again, ADHDMe!!)

I have 2 girls, and D#1 to this day (she's 9) has no hesitation about finding "friends" everywhere we go. She has an amazing ability to reach out to kids (grown-ups, too, but we've learned to be a little more discerning about randomly approaching and talking to anyone).

I suspect your boys are following in your footsteps, as that is part of your ministry. Plus, kids do need friends. Soccer, I'm guessing, (or is it futbol?) is probably a phenomenal way to make friends. Language definitely not an issue!

Looking forward to dropping in again. BTW, do you have a MOPS chapter nearby? Don't know how much time you have, but that's a great way to make some connections (and, perhaps, a place for the boys, too).

See you again soon!

Irritable Mother said...

We recently had a family over to our house who is from Iraq. Mom is studying at the university here.
Mom and Dad speak a little English and the kids don't speak any. I was amazed at how much we could enjoy each other with the help of a beach ball, even though we could barely speak.
Yes, play is an international language!

My ADHD Me said...

OK Notorious Missionary in Spain. If you don't check your blog there are going to be some disappointed bloggers out here.
I'm sure you have PLENTY of free time on your hands.
Come check out my blog, maybe you'll win a prize. Wouldn't that be ironic!!