It’s been hard to focus on work lately. In November, my family was informed that my dad had cancer and he only had a short time to live. I was devastated.
He passed away in January.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to write about my dad, but I couldn’t. My dad was not an easy person, and we didn’t exactly have the best of relationships. I always wished it was different…
But there were also good moments. My dad opened the doors to who I am today. He could see how much I cared about learning English and how much I wanted to study abroad. He continued to fund my studies, even when money was scarce at home (he lost his job when I was a teenager and the economic situation in Spain was changing; we were six children).
Today, my dad continues to influence my work. Families, and in particular parent-child relations, are at the core of my curriculum and materials. I believe that parents are the most important influencers in their children’s education and well-being. The desire to have had a better relationship with my dad only makes me more conscious of that.
In my books, I create ideal situations in which parents and children talk, and learning takes place naturally. These “nurturing conversations” are the building blocks of many of my activities.
Research shows that those nurturing conversations between parents and children are among the most nutritious sources for language, cognition, and emotional IQ for young children. I didn’t know that when I started my work, but I am glad that I was on the right track.
On the plane ride home, flying over the beautiful mountains near Madrid, were my dad is now buried, I talked to him. I told him about my new work and how I am now writing curriculum in which children explore emotional and cognitive ideas simultaneously. I like that combination because it seems like we always leave the emotional side of education behind. I asked for his help.
I want to honor my dad in this way, with my best work. I know he’ll be there for me, just like he was there when as a teen I didn’t know what I would study, but I knew that my heart was “international.”
So to you, papá. Lo mejor está aún por venir. Let’s create some beautiful work together.
[Our team member, Doreen Hulsey, also lost her mom in December, and she wrote a beautiful letter about her. I invite you to read it here: Creating Nurturing Environments]
Right now, our team is preparing an upcoming webinar for people who want to start teaching languages. If you are interested, subscribe to Mpressarias to receive more information about it when we post it.
Also, we are working on launching a newly redesigned AnaLomba.com website and e-store this month, featuring our numerous products.