I don’t remember having a secret language with my sister. I don’t think we liked each other enough to do something that fun when we were little. I did have a summer of secret codes with Shannon. During the summers, both of us stayed home alone, but weren’t allowed to leave our house without military cover and a police escort… at least that’s how it felt. I could RUN to get the mail when it came, but other than than, I was on lock-down. Every now and again, Shannon and I could persuade our parents to let us go to each others house- but I’m telling you, it was like planning some sort of invasion. We had to call each other and plan it, then each call our mothers, then our mothers had to call each other, then we had to wait for them to call us back (in my case, I had to wait for the secret telephone ring to then call my mother back), then we knew we had exactly five minutes to get from one house to the other, then we had to call our mothers when we got to the other house. It was almost too much of a hassle to go!
So one summer, we decided that we would write secret notes to each other and leave them under the rock at the end of the street. We would both be very naughty and run and leave each other notes. That process went like this:
Ring, ring (if Shannon called me, I waited for the answering machine to pick up so I knew it was her and not a child-killer who somehow knew I was home alone)
K: I’m going to leave you a note.
Two minutes later- ring ring
K: I left you a note.
S: Okay. I’m going to get it.
Two minutes later- ring ring (answering machine)S: I got your note. I’ll call you back when I figure it out.
Two minutes later- ring ring (answering machine)S: Haha- that’s funny!
K: I know! You go leave me one.
Etc., etc. Much simpler, huh?
Why, you may be asking yourself, are you telling me this? Well, yesterday… every day really, I am surrounded by kids who know a “secret” language. It’s Spanish, so it’s not really a secret- I think it’s well documented that many, many people speak Spanish. I just do not happen to be one of them. It got me thinking, walking behind some kids and trying to figure out what they were saying- how crazy! To be 13 and to be able to say just about anything you want in front of a teacher with no fear of repercussion! They could be talking about sex, drugs, rock and roll… I had no idea! What freedom and power! I’m not sure it’s a freedom or power that a 13 year old should have. But most of these guys have had this their whole lives- teachers who did speak Spanish, teachers who didn’t. They know how to censor. They also know when you start learning… and they can tell when you’re faking.
The only secret language I ever knew was pig latin. I should probably learn Spanish.