I have a simple message today: You are not alone.
I know it can feel that way at times, especially if you’re the main source of exposure to the minority language in your child’s life. And I know that when you feel alone, the bilingual journey—which is hard in any case—just becomes that much harder. There may even be times at the end of another long, lonely, exhausting day when you lie there in bed and wonder: Can I really do this?
It’s true, of course, that the circumstances you face can be very challenging. But what makes it all so much tougher is feeling alone with your doubts and frustrations. Ultimately, it isn’t the circumstances themselves that can derail your dream, it’s the doubt and frustration. The truth is, you are bigger than any circumstances you’ll ever face, but rising doubt and frustration can grow overwhelming—and that’s especially the case when you feel alone.
But hear me: You are not alone.
There are millions of parents who have made this journey before you, and millions more making the journey alongside you at this very moment. And one of those parents is an odd little father in a small, cluttered house in Hiroshima, Japan who’s cheering for you right now.
It’s true: I’m cheering for you. I feel for your doubts and frustrations, but I know you can do this. I know you can keep going, keep trying, for another day, and then another.
Will your efforts enable your child to reach the destination of your original dream? Like the rest of life, there are no guarantees. But I can promise you that if you don’t keep going, keep trying, the outcome is certain: you won’t get far at all. As long as you take another step each new day, you’ll go a long way over the years ahead. And, finally, your child will be in a good place to continue the journey from there.
In the meantime, promise me this: If you ever feel so alone, and so overwhelmed by doubt and frustration that you’re in danger of abandoning the whole journey—though in your heart this is still truly important to you—then reach out to me right away.
Really. I mean it.
And I will tell you: You are not alone.
And I will tell you: I believe in you. You can do this. Keep going, keep trying, day by day, and keep breathing in as much joy on this memorable journey as your heart can possibly hold.
P.S. You can also find kinship and support at the forum for this community, The Bilingual Zoo. Admission is free for all!