Coming in from working in the garden, we leave our shoes at the door and head to the fridge. I take out a bag of cherries and my niece helps me find a bowl for the pits and stems.
We settle in at the table with the dark red fruits. She eats them in pieces taking a bite out of the cherry like you might with a peach or a plum. Somehow as she develops a small pink goatee we get to talking about the pits. "In Gaelic you call this part the clach because it is like a stone" I say pointing at the pit of my cherry. "clach" she repeats as if learning Gaelic at her dining room table were nothing odd.
Later we are sitting on the floor playing with the plastic animals. "Shall we put these crodh gaidhealach in the barn too" I say with my hand resting on the family of highland cattle. Again she isn't surprised or phased that her aunty keeps using strange words she even came over for a little while and listened to a BBC Alba program that I was listening to.
Later that night we are outside catching fireflies and I might as well be 4 years old as well. We don't have fireflies in Colorado at least not the part that I live in and they seem magical to me, like animate Christmas tree lights twinkling across the lawn and over the corn field.
I am so grateful to be able to share this language that I love with my family and also that I get to share this time with them.
Caroline has been involved with Gaelic for more than 18 years. She has degrees in Celtic Studies and Gaelic Medium Teaching.