Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Why didn't I think of this sooner? Take the children to a modern Greek play as a "live" and "lively" way of educating them in the language.  It seems so natural, and so obvious, yet I never thought of it.  So, as a result of my mom suggesting we go and see a comedy called Ta Kitrina Gantia, (If the Glove Fits, or literally, The Yellow Gloves) at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria, Queens, I jumped at the chance.  Usually,  Mother's Day, is fun for about a half hour of opening cards and then going to church and out to eat, Mother's Day was exceptional this year.

For one, I spent it with my husband and children in the morning, and then later, he enjoyed a day with his mom, while I drove my children and mom in to Astoria to see this Greek comedy.  Having already warned my children, that if they misbehave during the play on this particular day, every silly band they own will be {xilia milia komatia mesa sta skoupithia}.  That means in a million pieces in the garbage.  Look, they owe me a few, as I do go out of my way, as most of us to make them "enjoy" Greek school.  Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar?  If you do your home work well, and with out whining, we'll go to the movies tomorrow.  If you want ice cream then you need to say, "thelo pagoto se parakalo, Mama".  Child repeats it then we go crazy high fiving the kid.  Such is the life of raising a bilingual child as a first generation Greek-American parent. Not easy.  All our parents had to do was the stare down...and the kicker is that this worked.  If I give my children the look, they whisper to each other, mommy looks funny....yes mommy looks funny all right until.....

Back to my reasons for acknowleding this as the greatest mother's day. 
The second reason that it was so special was that after all my concern that my children behave, they genuinely enjoyed the show.  Who would have thought?  What happened was an unexpected reward for the children, Yiayia and me.  It's not easy teaching our children any second language if it is not spoken exclusively in the home and here is this wonderful revelation and opportunity to further the childrens' bilingualism, as well as appreciation for their culture.  Mother's Day, this year, brought my children a renewed sense of their abilities, and progress in the acquisition of the Greek language.  Simply for them though, it was more about the fun.   That night, and every night since my children have asked me to read Greek stories to them.  All three are competing with each other to be the first to tell me what each sentence meant. 

This is my thank you to Ta Kitrina Gantia of the Ichneftes Theater.  Thank you for wonderful acting and tin perifania pou estanthikane ta paidia mou, kai estanounde tora pou eivai ellines. Sas euxapistw. 
With love.