A few things French:
At Benjamin's last parent-teacher conference, the only suggestion she had was that Ben needed to choose to speak French more than he does. He's completely bilingual, she assured me. And, in spite of school rules that dictate no English should be spoken at any time, Ben often chooses English instead. "Even in class," she laughed. "I'm standing right in front of him and he's speaking English. 'I'm right here!' and he just smiles and switches back to French.
Last night while at a New Year's Eve party, we met some new friends who were from France. Their young children spoke no English, but there was no shortage of French-speaking Canadians to help them feel welcome. I urged the seven year old boy to seek out Colin and Caleb, both of whom can freely converse in his language. I started to mention Ben, then backed off. Given his school history, I figured he probably wouldn't jump in.
To my surprise (and a wonderful one at that) when I collected Ben to leave the party, I found him sitting with this new friend. As we walked away, I asked if he had been speaking French with him. "Of course, Mom. He's from France and he only speaks French." All night he had played with this new friend, completely comfortable in his second language.
Today while playing the board game Cranium, Benjamin had to hum a tune for his team to guess. James whispered the song and Ben started. Now, Ben is our little songbird, and can sing completely on pitch in the sweetest little voice. But we sat scratching our heads as we tried to make out the hesitant notes he made. The humming was throwing him off, so he glanced at James and asked "Can I hum it in French?" We burst out laughing, although he had no idea why. With James' approval, he started again and we quickly made out "O Canada."