As shared by a Host Mom
How many ways have you learned to say "I don’t know"?
This is one of my favorite responses to children who are looking for their misplaced belongings or asking a question to which they know there is no real answer.
One of the benefits of having our Au Pairs is that my kids can understand the answer in at least 6 or 7 languages (not counting our native American-English). They don’t even hesitate if someone asks them to brush their teeth in German, Swedish or Africaans (spelling?). They know about sweets and foods from at least 4 or 5 cultures which are not their own heritage (and our family has a few European cultures in the background).
They look outward from the U.S. and understand that we are not the only country in the world – even if we have great responsibility for the power that comes with our current position in that world. They have learned where Europe, Africa and South America are – and to them they are not just places on a world map but real places, where real people that they care about live, worth and love.
Our au pairs and their families, each of which have chosen to send something special "for the children" with the hopes of sharing their culture through children’s books, toys and trinkets have brought that to us. It’s a gift and one that really should be emphasized more than it is in when people discuss this program. I bet Michelle Obama would agree . . . now if we can only bend her ear a few minutes . .