I love that the Spanish word for smile is sonrisa because it sounds like sunrise. That’s kind of what it’s like to see a smile on someone’s face – it’s a little sunrise.
I was standing in the grocery store the other day trying to decide if I should buy facial wipes made with micelar water or just buy the micelar water and some cotton pads, when a lady walked up to me and asked me a question in Spanish. As usual, a sense of frozen panic hit, but this time I was at least able to say, “No hablo español. Lo siento.” For me that’s progress. Generally I just freeze and can’t say anything.
This lady on the other hand switched to fluent English and asked if I could see a price posted for the cotton wipes. Neither of us could. Then she asked me if I needed help figuring out what to buy and gave me skin care advice about the merits of the two products I was considering. It was so nice to have a friendly moment talking with a stranger about ordinary things in a language I could understand. Her ability to help me feel cared for in that moment by switching to English confirmed my determination to learn Spanish. I want to be someone who can do that for others. So I will study more and keep trying. One day perhaps my tongue won’t freeze up.