Our public elementary and middle schools are full of hard-working, good-hearted people, none of whom teach languages other than English.

Yet at some point in his education, J. encountered a teacher who was brought in to teach Spanish for a few months. He remembers a few numbers, a few months of the year, and one sentence, which he sometimes says to me, regardless of what I may have said to him: “Hola, mi rosa padre.” Hello, my pink father.

I am fifty, and I work at a communications firm, and I like to play basketball, and I support restorative justice, and so on. But if I am one thing in this world, I am a pink father.