Sometimes it hard to remember a time when we weren’t all family. Dark times really. Really dark. Most of the time it feels like we have always been together, Dirk, Kai, Sierra, Cheyenne and myself. It wasn’t always so easy. I know that we are very lucky, not all of my friends have had successful runs of blending a family. Not for lack of trying on their part, but sometimes it’s just too much for everyone involved. We had a rough start, but it all worked out for us. Now it is a life filled with laughter. Which brings me to a conversation that happened yesterday.
Yesterday, we were talking about language. It’s a frequent conversation in our house since two of us are learning German via immersion. As is, dropped into the country and sink or swim. Cheyenne is swimming along, learning quickly. and I spend quite a bit of time underwater. We are on a short break from our German Language courses, we start back up in a week or so with A 2.1. We talk of the difficulties, and how sometimes my husband forgets that we just started to learn German a few months ago. He forgets that he started to learn English when he was young, well over 20 years ago. He also forgot that when he first moved to the States, he often had language issues.
Like that one time at the store with Cheyenne. Cheyenne was probably 15 or 16 at the time. They went to pick up a few things, including some rubber bands.
Cheyenne was looking on one aisle and Dirk was on the next. He didn’t see any rubber bands so he shouted out to Cheyenne.
“Cheyenne! Hey, where are the rubbers kept?!?” yelled Dirk, in a very outside voice.
Now, in the United States, a rubber is another word for condom. Picture if you will, an image of Cheyenne dying a slow death in the grocery aisle, trying desperately not to be seen by anyone who may know her. Hiding from her step dad who is yelling about rubbers in a very heavy German accent.
She didn’t answer, so he called out again.
“Where are the rubbers??!! Cheyenne, do you know where the rubbers are??!!” Dirk continued to yell, because he didn’t think Cheyenne could hear him. Not because she had actually fainted from embarrassment in the next aisle.
The yelling out for the location of the store rubbers went on for some time, until Dirk found Cheyenne hiding behind a store display. Cheyenne finally told him that rubbers are condoms, and that it may be seen as inappropriate for a grown man to be asking a 15 year old where they are kept. They both laughed, and left the store before Child Protective Services could be called.
Remembering this story helped my husband remember that learning a language is not easy, and often creates some unique situations. Or at least some very funny situations.
While they were reminiscing about the rubbers, I was thinking about how far we have come as a family. Out of darkness, surrounded by laughter.