When I first came to this country, soon to be eleven years ago, people often asked me if I had family back in the old country. The first few times, I got confused. ‘Family’, to me, only meant the nuclear family; husband/wife + children. Or, when you’re young, mother, father, siblings. I quickly picked up though, and now I know … even cousins could be included as ‘family’ in some instances. I don’t even know my cousins. I have one family member back there, a brother ten years older than I — when I was eleven he got married and started his own family. We’re not close. Would his kids be ‘family’?! I hardly know them.
Then there’s the word ‘love’. I find that it’s much easier to say it in English than in my native tongue. To look someone in the eyes and tell them “jag älskar dig” … boy, that’s serious business!!! Takes a lot of emotion behind that statement and it’s not something I would have said to, for example, my mother. I can say it to my husband and my cat! In English, I could say it even to a friend! «Love ya!!!» If I were to tell, let’s say, my brother “jag älskar dig”, I truly believe he would faint from the shock.
McDuff just walked over to me here and said mew. I’m pretty sure that meant ‘I love you’! 🙂