About me: Here is a tried-to-make-it-short-and-couldn’t version:
I was born and raised in Mexico and moved to the United States in 2001. I am happily married to a handsome and very tall guy from the Midwest that I absolutely adore. Together we have a boy and a girl that look nothing like me, and just a tiny bit like him….OK… a lot like him.
Writing has always been one of my passions; I have kept journals or diaries most of my life and I decided to take it to the WWW on 2014.
Some of my favorites things in life are Dark Chocolate, a big breakfast, baking with loud 80’s music in the background, the sound of water (not a leaky faucet but a nice fountain, a stream or small lapping waves), watching my children asleep (because once they are up all enchantment of repose and innocence disappears), Dark Chocolate, looking at old pictures very slowly, Robert Downy Jr and last but not least, Photography. I also really like Dark Chocolate.
Here is the not so short version of me:
I was born and raised in Northern Mexico. Child number 2 of 3 of a very hard working man and an extremely tough and sensitive woman.
At age 3 my mother had a stroke, as a result of an aneurysm. My father was left with 3 kids, ages 4, 3 and 3 months. My mom was left with a brain that had enough damage to affect her motor skills, but thank God, a brain that has been going strong since I can remember. (Her doctor back then said that her extreme stubbornness helped her survive the worst phase after the stroke, when they were not sure she would make it).
Growing up, my Mom and Dad have always been equal as authority figures in our lives; the fact that our mother could not assist in chores and every day activities that a physically independent mom would, made the three of us quite resourceful and confident in ways that other kids had a hard time catching up with. It sounds a bit like bragging now, but back then it was more like cooking and cleaning and driving at 13. Yes, driving at 13. We always had full time help, but mastering housekeeping chores at an early age was our common standard.
The fact that my mom could not go to the kitchen and cook for us, but write perfect notes with instructions instead, made me learn and develop a strong fondness for cooking and baking.
(I have no idea what went wrong here with my sister- she still views cooking as a waste of time, yet loves a good hearty meal)
Thanks to my grandmother on my mother’s side, I started listening to English -and writing it too- at a very early age. She spoke English better than Spanish for reasons that are too long to explain here. The fact is, I owe her a big part of the confidence that I feel today as I speak and write using my second language as opposed to my native Spanish. I also owe my grandma that ‘something’ in my features that makes people ask me over and over if I am from the Middle East. (Once a total stranger on a plane said to me “You look 100% Arab, all you need is the Camel next to you, and these babies? Blond? Do they look like their Dad?”)
LEAVING MY HOMETOWN
At age 30, after calling it quits right before a disaster-to-be wedding (pheeeew) I decided -aided by my mom’s strong encouragement- to move out of the comforts of my parents’ home and make a change in my life. A very dramatic change. With strong and almost nauseating feelings of guilt, I left my home. I left my mother; my mother who had counted on me ‘til then. My mother who always needed help getting places, making calls, making trips. My mother who on occasion broke down crying out of desperation and frustration due to her condition. It was only me and her back then, and I was leaving.
Both my brother and sister were married and had relocated to other cities. So the decision was, until this day, the hardest one for me to make. Ironically, my mom was the one driving me and guiding me to take the step. And so I did. Because she assured me that it was for the best and I trusted her.
I packed my car and drove across Texas, New Mexico and Arizona with a dear friend that offered her company for the trip. After two days we arrived in California on March 26th 2001. Having spent 4 summers of my childhood in Monterey Bay, it felt like coming back to a very familiar place.
ARRIVING AT SUNNY CALIFORNIA
I had registered for a Web Development Certificate Program at UCSD. The novelty of going back to school, meeting new people from all over the US and Latin America and the time it took to discover the beautiful City of San Diego made me forget the pain I still felt. Homesickness was softened with partying and traveling and studying. Getting used to having a laptop inside the classroom to take notes, also kept me very busy (I still prefer paper and pen).
BEING MEXICAN = HAVING THOUSAND OF COUSINS, AUNTS & UNCLES
How lucky was I to have a distant cousin living in the area. She and I were both single when I arrived, both about the same age and, of course related in some way. My cousin introduced me in 2001 to my now husband.
Things just started falling into place ever since I moved to California. I found a job I loved. The tall handsome guy I had met (after 18 months of making me wonder) asked me to marry him. Soon after that we started our family and we are blessed now with health, jobs and two kids that we adore and make our lives full, VERY BUSY, but absolutely full. Of love, of laughs and full also of constant learning experiences.
WIFE, MOM , SISTER AND DAUGHTER
My husband, to this date, cannot understand why I like taking to my mom every other day. He asks, “How much stuff is there to talk about if you spoke to her a day or two ago “. He asks this with a smile, like a person that just wants a logic answer to something that doesn’t make much sense to him.
It is hopeless. It’s a guy thing. They don’t get it. Who talks to their mom about the gap between calls? The material for the conversation is just endless. I often run out of battery on the phone, or run out of time, or one of the kids will be next to me saying “Mom? ….Mom?….Mom?” -because no matter how big your phone is, it turns invisible to children , the fact that you are in an actual conversation goes completely unnoticed.
My point? My mom is far, or I am far, so I call her. I call my sister a lot too. We grew up very close, and I intend to keep it that way. Phones are all we have in long distance relationships. No text, email or post can substitute the sound of our voices. As short as a call it may be, voice is good!
As a wife, I am happy to say that I never thought the level of peace, easiness and respect I share with my husband existed in a relationship.
I always thought marriage had a ton of drama “guaranteed”. A lot of craziness. Either I watched too many drama shows in my younger years or had extremely crappy ex-boyfriends, or heard too much drama from empty headed girlfriends or all of the above. The fact is that the love, support and admiration I feel from my husband every day plays a HUGE role in my happiness. I strongly believe in individuality and self-reliance. But I also believe that having a best friend that loves you despite all your many imperfections really does make a difference in accomplishing that happiness.
As a Mom, I want to believe I am doing a decent job. My kids are in that still phase were they can’t get enough of you, they just want more and more, they don’t get tired of your hugs and kisses and they miss you terribly if you leave them for a day or two. I know this will fade, more or less, so I am enjoying every bit of it. They still let me sing and dance with them, they still think I know more than GOOGLE. They still say I have very big strong muscles and that I look beautiful in the morning with swollen eyes and no makeup.
Sometimes I look at their baby pictures and really cannot believe, as cliché as it sounds, how fast time goes by. I can still remember the smell of their bodies when I bathed them in the tiny tub. The feel of their baby soft skin. The very light weight in my arms.
There were nights when I was still breastfeeding my daughter, I would sit in the dark, rocking her to sleep, looking at her looking at me, touching me with her tiny hand, and thinking, I want to freeze this moment. It is perfect in every way. At least I froze those moments in my mind. They are so clear, the sound of ENYA playing softly, the sweet smell of milk, the night light with which I could barely make out her tiny profile.
It is up to us parents to make these ties stay strong, these bonds to last and the trust to remain. It’s in the smallest details of our daily routines that we have a chance to nourish this. To keep our children close and let them go at the same time.
I still have on my mental wish list The Perfect Manual for Parenting, but I am not holding my breath because no one has the perfect answer for how to be a good parent, how to raise confident successful children and all that good stuff we all want.
I take this life as the Manual itself, it is just hard to read sometimes. I pray that I always have an open heart and open ears to learn from my mistakes and learn from others.
Thank you for taking the time to read these many lines about me.
UPDATE – DECEMBER 2018
In essence, most of what I wrote back in 2014 about me still holds true, except both my Mom and Dad passed away on September 2017 and December 2016 respectively, just 9 months apart I suffered their loss, which was -up to now- the biggest and closest to my heart. I miss them – a lot. I talk to them in my head, I ask them for advice, I vent and pray when I am going through a parenting crisis. They are still my “go to” people, but my phone calls now are mostly to my siblings who have taken the place of my Mom and Dad when it comes to needing familiar voices, a crying shoulder or a sound board that will take anything.
My kids are entering the oh-so-fun Teenage phase so the circumstances that relate to spending time with them , good quality fun time, have changed from 2014 to date. Not surprising, actually, expected. I will take what I can: half a kiss, a weak hug, anything 🙂