Seeing your child grow up bilingual – Flower buds

flower buds


“…even if the path sometimes looks difficult and not going in the right direction, there are beautiful flower buds waiting to be seen”.


This morning, during my usual run in the forest, I saw this beautiful tree. I just needed to stop running to take a picture and  look at it in more detail. As you can see, the first impression is not that great. There are not so many leaves on it. Everything looks brown and bald. But you can also see the beautiful flower buds on the tree. There are many of them now, and they will be blooming in a few days. I did feel so lucky to notice this on my way this morning! And I thought about the connection between nature and our lives.  I made a ‘connection’ between this buds and being a parent raising bilingual children.  Because: how many times do we think it’s not working the way we expected with our children?  How many times do we think we are doing something wrong because we don’t see any improvement in our child’s abilities in the minority language? How many times do we think our child is not learning enough because he or she is not producing what he or she is supposed to produce? How many times are we seeing just the bald side, everything what we still need to improve or change, but we don’t notice the little buds growing within the mess?

I sometimes catch myself feeling like that, and of course, every parent does.  But then I go back to my starting point: why do I want to raise my children bilingual? WHY? And then I remember, I remember again how important it is for me and for them to have this special ‘connection’ with each other; this wonderful tool to be used within and outside our family.  And then I also see every effort I’ve made up to now, every resource I’ve tried to convey my language and my culture to them; to teach them how important it is to know who they are, and why they are growing bilingual.

And then I can see the flower buds again. A lot of them are already flowered. Flowered in the way my children speak to me in the minority language, flowered in the contact they have with their family on the other side of the world because they speak in the same language, flowered in the effort they make learning a new vocabulary and trying to tell me about their needs, feelings and fears, flowered every time they get frustrated because they don’t know the words to talk about their frustrations in the minority language, flowered every time they surprise me because they are watching a movie on youtube in the minority language.

And I can feel there are a lot of buds waiting for the right time to bloom.

And then also I see that even if sometimes the way looks difficult or is not going in the right direction, there are always beautiful flower buds waiting to be seen.

I’m so lucky to live in this beautiful place with so beautiful nature! I’m so lucky to have this passion for running, I’m so lucky to have two beautiful children! I’m so grateful for having seen the flower buds on the three this morning and I’m so proud I decided to raise my children bilingual.


Fernanda Martino, april 2016

Something about me

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I grew up in an Italian family speaking Spanish and an Italian. At school I improved my Italian and I also learned English. Now I´ve been living in The Netherlands for already 16 years and I‘ve learned Dutch.  I’m the mom of a girl (11 years old) and a boy (8 years old) and I speak Spanish to them. I’m also a Spanish and Italian language coacher working with children, teenagers and adults, helping them to learn a new language and culture. If you are raising your child bilingual and need some ‘tips’, ‘inspiration’ or just ‘a big hug’, contact me.  I would love to help you! -