Thursday, November 14, 2013

And on a (more) personal note - São Paulo

My brother is my co-pilot. Let's roll!
I don't post much about my kids here, mostly because this is a public page and I don't want them to have to deal with what mom said about them. And for security reasons, I will not publish their photos (but this one above is actually them on the front seat of the jeep on safari in Africa in October). But peripherally, I think you all know them. I call one creative, and one soccer boy. Of course those are only labels and they have a little bit of both in them.

Today the twins turn seven. Somehow, overnight, they are 7.

We moved to Brazil when the twins were 18 months old. They were starting to speak some words in English--creative started with "bi"for bird, and soccer boy started with "ba"for ball. True. They had a wonderful nanny --something that Brazil affords even middle class families here in Brazil. And Leia's (the nanny) sister Teia still works with us as a maid, though she does not live in. Both of these two Brazilian girls (and they were girls when they arrived here) were wonderful and playful and loving to these two. Teia still is--she has been here five years and there is not one single day that soccer boy doesn't ask me on the way home from school or sport --- ïs Teia home?" They love her, and she has become part of the family. 

Brazil has always treated our kids well. Brazilians love kids. Even bad kids. Mine are good kids, most days. The teachers hug and kiss them and pull them into their laps. Everyone at the club knows them, right down to the cafeteria workers who tee up the ice cream right after the game, or the security guard who has had his ear talked off by creative. They call soccer boy "älemao"or German because of his white blond hair. He has given up correcting them. 

We are lucky that we have been able to bring our kids up bilingual. Though creative prefers English (and has adopted an accent in Portuguese) and soccer prefers Portuguese (and has an accent in English), they switch easily back and forth--always seeming to know who speaks English or Portuguese. I am so happy with their international school which has exposed them to racial diversity, if not socio-economic. Their best friends make a rainbow of colors and races--and soccer boy remains the very whitest so he can add diversity for the others. It is a school accepting of differences (remember that creative is the only boy there who does ballet) and encouraging of teamwork. 

So I have to say that thank you to Brazil which has made my kids better people.

PS. Don't worry, tomorrow I will get back to razzing you.... ;)


  1. You recognize the importance of diversity but that´s just one aspect of their education, I must remind you that the fruit doesn´t fall far from the tree. Congratulations to the twins and parents too.

    1. What a nice thing to say! Thank you, Renato!