This is the fifth post in a series written by Frieda, my mother. These are her memories of her first rambunctious child and their adventures on the mission field. Click this link to start at the beginning.
I often rocked Sara and sang to her while she drank her bottle. This was the one time we could count on her being still. When she was a little over a year old, I was interrupted before I finished a song that I often sang, and to my surprise, she finished the last few words. After that I would stop on purpose so that she would sing the rest. Before long, she was singing whole choruses and verses of hymns that I sang to her. Most, though not all, of these songs were in Spanish.
With Sara’s blonde hair and big blue eyes, she turned heads everywhere we went in Central America. Like most new parents, I suppose, we thought our baby was extremely beautiful and amazingly smart. She had quite a large vocabulary by the time she had her first birthday, making her wishes known very well in both English and Spanish. A young lady who worked for us loved to take Sara for afternoon walks through the streets of the town because people would leave whatever they were doing to talk to Sara. They would ask her name, of course, and how old she was. When they would ask her father’s name, she would say, “Hal Tonto.” Everyone found this baby talk version of our last name hilarious—everyone except Hal.
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This Busy Life says
What a lovely remembrance. It made me smile.
Susan Evans says
How cute that the baby would finish singing the songs! My 2-year-olds were often able to quote poetry because they had heard it so much. Young children are a lot smarter than people give them credit for.
And I’m sure the baby didn’t mean to call her father stupid (“tonto”)! LOL
Until I read Susan Evans’ comment, I was thinking, “Why is the name of the Lone Ranger’s sidekick so funny to them?”
Ah ha ha! Thanks Susan for clearing that up!
Yes, thanks, Susan. I didn’t realize until I read it this morning that some people wouldn’t get it–it was in the context of Spanish and pronounced in Spanish.
I remember when my little girl started finishing songs I’d sing. So precious.
Lol I didn’t know what Tonto meant until now. Too funny.
That sounds like it would be such a special memory. It makes me want to start singing to my daughter every night.