Are there secrets?

I just walked outside to the store, and I passed an Asian woman speaking Chinese to her daughter. Then I saw a car pull up, and the driver was her American husband, who talked to them in English, then drove them away.

So it made me wonder about kids who grow up with parents who don't speak the same languages. In this case, they could all speak English, and I'm assuming the husband couldn't speak Chinese, otherwise they would've spoken that, since the wife could speak it a lot better than English.

So I wonder what the mother talks with the daughter about in Chinese--other than "clean your room" or "eat your vegetables." Could she be saying things to her that she doesn't want the husband to know, and can get away with secrets because he'll never understand?

How many kids have taken on the burden of keeping secrets because they were the only confidantes in the family who could understand one parent's language really well? And if they don't hear secrets, then have they eavesdropped on a parent's private conversations in the other language?

I've never thought of asking anyone this question, but maybe I will...bwahahaha.


Cheryl said...

My mom says that she took German in high school just to be able to understand what her grandmother and mother were talking about when they didn't want anyone else to hear (they'd then converse in German instead of English).

Margaret Larkin said...

Then there's the problem of dialect.