Hello and witam! I’m Aleksandra. I go by Aleks, but I am also known as Ola in the Polish community. I was born in Poland but moved to Southern California when I was six years old.
I grew up in a traditional Polish Catholic immigrant household. I spoke Polish at home, attended Saturday Polish School, celebrated Sunday Mass at Polish Church, and visited family in Poland during the summers. Over the course of a few years, my native speech became Americanized, which continues to elicit a lot of chuckles from my Polish family. My proficiency in my native tongue isn’t exactly that of a native speaker back in the motherland. Nonetheless, I have always been very close to my roots and figured I would go back to Poland after college, marry a nice Polish Catholic boy, and raise perfect Polish children.
And then while in college I went on a blind date—with an American—and shortly after fell in love. After five years of dating, we got married at a Polish Catholic Church (where else?!) and had a traditional Polish (with American touches) wedding.
Two years later, we expanded our little Polish-American family by welcoming our first child. I always assumed that my children would speak English and Polish fluently. I never realized just how much more difficult it is when only one parent speaks the “foreign” language (and not perfectly…).
I am not an expert in bilingual education, or Polish for that matter. I started this blog as a way to share the joys and challenges of raising bilingual children in a bicultural/bilingual family.