NEW YORK MAYOR CONCEDES MOST CHILDREN OF WEALTHY SPEAK SPANISH AS FIRST LANGUAGE
Every day, in the parks of New York City, the nannies congregate, babies and children of their employers in tow. They reminisce and gossip together in their mother tongues, assuaging the pains of immigration. Most come from Central and South America. Others are Asian or Eastern European.
"It was bound to happen," said the Mayor. "These kids spend all their time with the nanny. The parents sort of flit in and out of their lives like strangers."
This was supported by Jonathan Colburn. Now twenty, Colburn speaks only Spanish. Juanita Sanchez, his nanny, whom he calls mama, and for whom he has evident affection, translated for him.
When addressed by his real name, he replied: "Por favor. Me llamo Juan. Juan Sanchez." Please. My name is Juan Sanchez.
Colburn explained that as a child there was an odd white couple in the apartment with them who rushed about in a constant state of agitation. At the time, he had assumed they co-rented the apartment.
"They made me nervous," he explained through Ms Sanchez. "They were always stressed out, always in a hurry to get somewhere, running around like crazy."
Later, finding out his nanny was in the US illegally, he worried that they would be deported back to Panama City.
"It was hard on Juan," admitted Ms Sanchez, "I feel guilty also I didn't speak to him in English, but my own English was so poor."
Mr Colburn said an enormous burden lifted from him after Ms Sanchez won a green card in a lottery.
"Only then did I feel we were no longer hiding from the law," he said.
His real parents, speaking by telephone from their retirement in Florida, said they are understandably devastated at the loss of their son, but at the time they were simply too busy.
"You must understand," explained Mr Colburn. "We had our own lives to lead, and a child just didn't fit into those plans."
A little too late perhaps, they conceded they are now taking Spanish lessons, and may, should Jonathan move to Panama City, follow him there.
When informed of this, replied Jonathan: "I hope those people stay in Florida. They still make me a little nervous."
Copyright © 2004, TheShortStraw
TheShortStraw is intended for use by those age 18 and older. All stories are fictional and satirical and should not in any way be construed as fact. All contents Copyright © 2004, TheShortStraw. All rights reserved.
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