Tomorrow is my Mama’s birthday! I want to kick off her birthday weekend by writing this post to celebrate her lovely existence and all that she has done for me while growing up!
This post will get personal. I actually bawled my eyes out while writing it.
As you can imagine, Mama is my #1. She has always been the person I can go to with any problem. (Even if she goes off on me 🙄… haha) I imagine it is the same for you with your mom! We don’t always see eye to eye, but she has the best intentions for me.
Growing up, it was never easy. My parents were “married” but never exactly together. Because of that, I had to grow up, fast. I have not only been my mom’s daughter, but her best friend and rock. As she has been mine.
*My mom in Matamoros, Tamaulipas in the 60’s
In Mexico, my mom was valedictorian all the way until she graduated from college where she earned a Chemistry degree, and worked as a manager at a chemical plant. She was doing really well! Not to mention, she had Kardashian curves, big lips and voluminous hair before people could even pay for that stuff haha.
My mom moved to the U.S. from Mexico when she was in her late 20’s, because she married my dad who already lived here, and she was pregnant with moi 😉. She was full of hope and excitement to start a new life in the land of the free. LOL
*R.I.P Abuelito Chocho
Once she arrived here to Houston, she had a rude awakening. She was forced to start from the bottom. I can’t imagine how she felt. She did not know the language, left her home, her respectable job and her family. She was completely alone since my dad always traveled for work. It was just her and me.
To entertain ourselves, we use to walk to the nearest market. She let me ride those little pony things that you put a quarter into. Then she would take me to buy little purses, because I was obsessed with collecting them. Mind you, I wasn’t even two years old yet LOOOL.
From a young age, and even though we didn’t have a lot, she encouraged me to 1. embrace my femininity and bought me the prettiest clothes. The kids in my school often asked if I was “rich” haha. I grew up in the hood so obviously I wasn’t. HAHA
*My mom made me this outfit for school. We all had to go dressed as what we aspired to be when we grew older. I wanted to be a “movie star” haha. Also, not sure why I always pushed my head back like that in photos haha.
The ability to express myself went hand in hand with 2. Self-Confidence.
She always told me that I was pretty, intelligent, and that I am a valuable human being.
Thanks to this foundation she set from a young age, I’ve been able to 3. Believe in Myself and not care what others think about Me.
I was bullied a lot in school (I think all kids are bullied actually. It’s a part of growing up.) But my mom is so headstrong that she made me the same way. I think she might have later regretted instilling this in me, because it got to the point where I didn’t listen to anyone, not even her… LOL #sorrymom
She told me so many times, that as long as I love and accept myself, no one’s opinion should matter.
And it doesn’t.
And she is right.
She also made it a priority to encourage me to 4. be adventurous and culture myself.
One of the best childhood memories that I have is that we were always out having fun. My mom made it a priority to take my sister and I out of the house to explore. Any where she could. Nasa, Moody Gardens, Astro World, SplashTown, Museum District, carnivals, Disney, trips to Mexico, the beach, watch movies, ice shows, circus, swimming lessons, dance lessons: Everything! This might seem like a simple thing to do, but I am extremely grateful for these experiences. She also taught me about the world through books and magazine clippings. We didn’t have the internet back then, ok, ppl!? She really tried her best to culture us.
Another reason these outings mean so much to me now is because for a while my mom was financially responsible for my sister and I on her own.
Not only was paying for all of that a challenge, but finding the time and supplying the energy must have been more than exhausting.
But she did it thanks to her resilient spirit that proves her 5. Independence and Strong Work Ethic.
She used to be up before dawn to wake my sister and I up, dress us (I would literally be asleep as she dressed me), and she would drop us off at the baby sitter’s house. It was so hard being a kid and not being able to be with my parents. I actually hated going to my babysitter’s house and eating leftovers lol. Since my mom had to prepare our food the evening before, the meals always tasted leftover-y.
But she tried her best.
That time in our lives along with many others, taught me to be independent and hard working. This is why, I do not make excuses for myself. I know that if I really want something, I will go after it and make it happen. This is why I take pride in taking care of myself, and not having to rely on anyone to do that for me. This is why I cannot sympathize with anyone who makes excuses. And why I believe that we are not victims but capable if willing.
When I hit my teen years, I knew that I needed to 6. Be nice to others not criticize.
As a child, I never heard my mom criticize others or throw out rude remarks. I really love this characteristic of my mom’s because it taught me to see the best in everyone.
A lot of teens or even adults fail to pay this courtesy to others.
Also, I learned to 7. Not deal with shitty relationships.
It’s easier to respect yourself when your mom has set a standard of high morale and dignity, but I still dated an abusive and manipulating guy. My mom use to literally take the house phone to work (We didn’t have cell phones back then, ok ppl?!), and even sent me to Mexico one Summer to keep me away from him. Finally one day I realized, why would I deal with anyone who does not respect and adore me? Like my mom told me, I’m pretty, intelligent, and a valuable human being.
“Tu tienes mucho valor.”
Not to mention, she’s taught me to 8. take risks and not be afraid.
By moving to a new country, to being a single mom and always handling her own problems.
9. Educate yourself
I’m grateful for the example my mom set for my sister and I.
I always knew I would attend college. I constantly witnessed my mom making efforts to better herself from taking English courses, computer lessons and even fitness trainings.
When my sister was in elementary she had the hardest time learning so my mom would make her gazillions of flash cards to help her learn. Some parents just give up with the idea that “my kid is just not that smart.” But my mom never let my sister feel defeated.
Now my sister is an engineer. I’m proud of her especially because her field is predominantly men.
Now, I’m a woman who is trying to find her place in this world. I’m still working on it, but thanks to my mom’s example of courage and determination, I am no longer afraid to take one step at a time as I try to make the best decisions for ME.
I am not sure if she knows this, but I will do anything for my mom. She deserves so much more than what she has. She deserves all of the happiness in the world, and I really hope to one day give her all that her heart desires.
*Mother’s Day 1997
I LOVE YOU MAMI!