While I was back in the States waiting to join my family again in Germany, David was enjoying his holiday in Bruch – and in this picture David shares his tractor with a cousin who was visiting for the day.
Looking like a proper German boy in his shorts and suspenders, David pauses for a moment from coloring with another cousin of his – while his grandfather or “Opa” looks on in the background.
We raised David to be bilingual in both English and German, but I’m sure that even with his background at the age of 28 months, David had to come to terms with the fact that overnight his world had changed from our life in Sacramento, CA.
David’s Opa spent a lot of quality time with him, and is giving him a tour of the back yard in this picture; and David seemd to be unsure of it all at the time.
This was a good time for David to bond with his Opa while I was back in the States, and David’s total immersion in the German language did wonders for his vocabulary.
Chiildren who are raised in a bilingual environment don’t think at the time that they are doing twice the work by learning both languages – somehow they just manage to do it.
David and his Opa spent a lot of quality time on the riding lawnmower mowing the grass, and David was very proud of his ability to help steer the big riding lawnmower.
There is no doubt that David’s Opa got as much or more out of their relationship, and my father-in-law really cherished these moments together with David.
When my wife and I married, everyone knew that we would move back to the States – and it was hard for them to adjust at the time; but they were overjoyed at our return to Germany.
My personal theory is that growing up bilingual greatly expands the brain’s ability to make bridges between one language and the other, which really reinforces all the independent areas of learning and discovery for a child.
David points to his new Mercedes-Benz star that has been temporarily affixed to the front of his tractor.
Proud of his achievements in riding both his and Opa’s tractors, David looks able to begin plowing the “back 40” of his own farm someday…all he needs is the straw hat.
Bruch was an idyllic “oasis” where my wife and son could relax and enjoy spending a few weeks that summer with her family while I completed my training; as the realities of life would soon come at us all – fast and furious.
David and his uncle set up a play pool in the grass and enjoyed splashing around on a sunny day, and this pool was much bigger than the one we had on the deck back in Sacramento.
I’m sure that splashing was a full time activity for both of these two, and a little water in the eyes and a giggle or two were all part of the action.
After the play pool splash fest, David simply loved drying off on a towel in the grass – and played peek-a-boo with his mom.
David always has had a fantastic sense of humor – which he received from his mom…I’m always reminded; and playing peek-a-boo was a real laugh fest for him each time his hiding place under the towel was revealed.
It was the summer of 1989 and just over a year from now Operation Desert Shield would commence…and the world would never be the same again; yet for the moment, life was absolutely wonderful in the little village of Bruch, Germany.