April 13, 2012

Having a German Moment

JD’s apartment is just a few hundred yards from the gate on post here.  I took the girls for a walk in the stroller and got nervous as we arrived at the gate.  I realized the gate guards were German.  The probably all are, but they were all standing around, laughing and speaking German.  It might be ridiculous, but I get nervous that they’re going to ask me something in German and I won’t be able to answer.  Why it doesn’t occur to me that they probably ALL speak English because nearly 100% of the soldiers entering and exiting post speak English, I don’t know?
Of course, the gate guard spoke English to the girls and me, so I tried to respond by speaking to him in German.  All I said was “danke,” but when he replied with “Bitte sin, tschüs” I nearly jumped up and clicked my heels!!
As I sit here and type this, I realize it sounds rather dumb to be excited over saying “thank you,” and hearing “you’re welcome, bye” in return, but it gave me a little encouragement that it’s okay for me to attempt speaking to them in German.
I had four years of French in high school and, to this day, could probably understand a great deal of it, as well as probably toss around enough words to get myself through the country.  But I have never actually spoken to another French person beside my French teacher.  It was all conversational, staged and practiced with other French students.  So, there was no worry about getting it wrong and sounding like a doofus.
Am I 14 or 34, seriously!?  This is silly.  JD and I talk about how Lorelai has always been the type of kid to not do anything until she knows she can ace it.  Like walking – she held off until almost 16 months, but her first steps were nearly as steady as her steps three months later.  I swear she practiced it in her crib when we weren’t watching.  She also wants to practice things on her own at home before she’s comfortable to do them out in public – such as hitting a ball off a tee with a bat.  Maybe she “gets it” from me?  I don’t know if that is innate, or learned behavior, but I see it in myself now.
Lorelai is currently on the back porch, yelling down to the German delivery driver “danke, bitte” then yelling back at me “mommy, is that right?  What does that mean?”   So, maybe she doesn’t practice everything before trying it out in public.  I need to take some notes.