By Cheryl Bac
E-mail Cheryl Bac
About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl... (More)
About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons including Chicago and Boston. Exercise is an integral part of my life. I hope to one day go back to long distance running and tackle the New York City Marathon. Right now I run after my one year old son. Although I am a stay-at-home mom, we are rarely "at home." My mom also stayed at home with my brother and me. She warned me that, although rewarding, it can be isolating. So, with her help, I learned the importance of getting out into the community and meeting other mothers. On the rare occasion when I am at home and have a hand or two free, I squeeze in time to scrapbook. As a new mom, many challenges are thrown my way. I hope my opinions, triumphs, and struggles help experienced parents reminisce, new parents cope, and parents-to-be get an honest glimpse of what the first years of motherhood can entail. (Hide)
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I am only fluent in English, however, my husband speaks multiple languages. Throughout our relationship, he's translated for me when we interact with his relatives and friends who speak little to no English (or who just feel more comfortable speaking their native tongue during a casual Saturday night dinner).
When we first started dating, I did not enjoy many of these outings. Hearing summaries of jokes and witty comments is not ideal. And, I didn't have a smartphone at the time, so there was no easy way to distract myself or app to help me translate.
Last weekend my husband's aunt was in town. She flew across the world on vacation and hoped to see us when she was touring San Francisco.
I was not especially excited about hosting dinner. Not only was there a language barrier but I was also very pregnant.
As the evening progressed, however, I was pleasantly surprised at how our son helped us bridge the language gap. We all enjoyed watching him play with his trains, put together a puzzle and stack his blocks. All of us laughed when he ran around the room with a burst of toddler energy.
And during dinner, my husband could spend the majority of the evening catching up with his aunt (rather than worry about filling me in on all of the details of the conversation). I had my own dining companion - our son. He was beyond thrilled to get my almost undivided attention during dinner (I think he was expecting for me to more equally split my attention between him, my husband and our guest).
I'm sure more translated dinners will be coming my way. I am now looking forward to using these occasions as special opportunities to give my son (and his younger brother or sister) a little extra attention.