still unknown (kimmi8) wrote,
still unknown

ESL all over again...

As a child, I knew that I spoke differently.  It was in the accents that I overheard, and the fact that I could go on and on but the other kids would never answer my questions.  But I never felt as though I thought different or that I *was* different.  You just don't see that until others point it out.  And really after a couple of minutes of staring, a few hand gestures thrown into the air, and some funny faces we'd all be on the same page.  Though I suppose there's not much to say when you're playing with finger paints or construction paper shapes.

   "You like school?" Mom asked after my first day in kindergarten.

    Smiling widely, I answered "Uhhhhh-huh." 

   "No UH-HUH, honey.  That English, not good like Vietnamese.  Say 'yes, Mommy'.  Remember, you not white.  What other kid nice?  You make friend?" 

    I replied in Vietnamese, "Yes, Mommy!  Lots of friends.  They were all so nice.  The girls had pretty dresses."

   "Oh, sound nice.  They like you, eh.  What their names?"  She asked, kissing the top of my head. 

   I stared at the ground perplexed for a moment.  "Um.  Names? Oh. ...Er, I don't know.. We didn't get to names."


My teeth are fantastically straight.  A little sore, but there's been nothing that I haven't been able to bite into yet.  I sometimes forget that the braces are gone.  I rush to check the mirror after eating only to discover that there's nothing stuck to my teeth.  My tongue darts in the spaces between, unable to let go of old habits and finding comfort around the newly polished teeth.

The retainers came yesterday.  I spent the afternoon mastering the English language all over again.  In meetings, I was exasperated because I couldn't talk fast enough to get my point across.  Others just laughed in amusement at my new speech impediment (yes, I have a lisp with these retainers and sound very much like Bugs Bunny).

Oh, go ahead and laugh. :)  You would hate it too, having to practice "Sue sells seashells by the seashore" for the twen-tthhi-eth time before heading out the door.

Tags: braces, childhood, cute, me, mom, teeth, work
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