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The first time I recalled my mom being bilingual was when we were in line at the San Diego Zoo; another person was speaking Czech and my mom chimed in and said “Ahoj!” They chatted for a few minutes in Czech. I remember watching in awe as my mom who was typically quiet with strangers, engaged in a charismatic and animated conversation. My mom always spoke Czech with my grandmother and grandfather; she told me they did this so they wouldn’t forget the language, I also thought it was so they could talk about what a great kid I was.

I remember at some point in my teens asking my mom how she came to the United States from Prague. She nonchalantly went on to say that my grandfather was a spy for Czechoslovakia he defected here to the United States when she was a teen...when she spoke of it was it was so nonchalant. I didn’t think to ask too many questions. If only I knew then, what I know now.

Clearly I don't love goats, like my mom and sister do...

Circa 1990; fanny pack and all.


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