Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Whimsical Wednesday Writing- When Your Family Speaks English As a Second Language

Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei.
Everything has an end, only the sausage has two.

When English is your second language you grow up with different nursery rhymes and stories. My German mother loved to read to me. There were always morals to the far-fetched stories. Below is Strubelpeter, who refused to let his mother cut his hair and fingernails. You can see the natural consequences. I marveled at his resistance. I was, and still am a closet rebel.

  The story that haunts me to this day is Der Supenkasper. He refused to eat his soup and each day his mother reheated the soup and served it again. I understood death very little but had visited cemeteries with my parents. The last picture in this story is a fresh grave. How could he be so stubborn? 
   My mother served sweet and sour eggs sometimes. This was a soupy sauce with a poached egg on top. It made me gag. I shudder even now to image the horrible taste. I had it reheated once because I refused to eat it the night before. I relented only because I did not want to die.

    Are we writing better stories for our children now? While teaching Music and Movement to toddlers my partner, Kim, assigned me to find a story for class. I found one I liked called, "Gobble It Up". It was about the food chain in nature and I looked at Kim's face as I merrily read about the alligator who loves to eat the little ducklings walking along the river bank. She said my humor was dark. I thought back at the stories of my childhood and nodded. When do we introduce the child to the dark side? 

I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt to record  memoir moments. If you don't write your story, who will?

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