Friday, May 7, 2010

Mama, Mommy, Mami, Mom, Mother, Madre

"She is going to die" are the words spoken by the doctor to my mother at my birth. What a screwed up thing to say to someone. I was born around the 7th month and they stuck me in an incubator. I fought for my life. A month later when my mother took me to my check up the doctor couldn't believe I was the same baby. I was very healthy (translation: a little chunkster). I was born a fighter and kept right on going. Just ask my husband and children, I am still a fighter. I can still give a good argument.

Speaking of arguing, growing up I was the one who argued the most with my mother. I got so good at proving my point she would give up in exhaustion just to shut me up. She would say that I would make a good lawyer. Most of the time I couldn't believe this woman was my mother. I believed we had nothing in common. What I didn't realize until I became a mother is that I was the one most like her.

It is now Maia's turn to give a good argument and I hear myself responding as my mother did. "Because I said so....Porque mientras vivas abajo de este techo (while you live under this roof)...Yo mando y ya (what I say, goes)." Needless to say, I am constantly apologizing to my mother everytime I talk to her on the phone.

Two great mom moments that defined each others love has stood out in my mind. It was during my high school years and I walked home from school and was trying to talk to my mother. She was facing the sink in the kitchen when I arrived. I was talking to her and she wouldn't turn around to talk to me. I touched her shoulder annoyed that she wouldn't look at me. Well, when she finally turned around her face was swollen and bruised. I started to cry asking her what happened. This was the result of a car accident in the nova (which we nicknamed Lazarus because that car kept on raising from the dead...she crashed in it, I crased in it...the person we sold it to crashed in it...). She wasn't supermom. She wasn't invincible. It was then I realized how much I loved this woman and needed her safe and healthy in my life.

When I was in college she would complain that I was out all night and that I was up to no good. In reality, I was in a play and rehearsing late every night. She always thought I was wasting my time in theater and that acting would teach me nothing. She didn't realize the passion I felt to jump on stage and recite lines, be a whole different character other than myself. My sister convinced her to finally come to a performance. I played a mother from El Salvador whose husband had been killed by the government and was being tortured by soldiers. I did a whole lot of crying in this play. After the performance as we were out in the hall greeting the audience my mother came up to me and I was expecting a lecture, but all she said was "ayyy, muchacha llorana." In the manner that she said it I knew it was her way of giving me a compliment. It was this simple statement that oozed lots of love from "mi mama."

It is the simple moments that stand out clearly in my mind. She was always at school performances, there was always a home cooked meal on the table. It is this amazing woman that I honor. She always encouraged and supported and still does. It is this woman who I see reflected in myself.

So Happy Mothers Day, Feliz Dia de las Madres to all the beautiful mamas that I know and to those I have yet to meet. I honor you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Follow the light...Carol Ann

Being the P.T.A. president is not an easy task especially when you are juggling two girl scout schedules, take care of two 2 year olds and still have to cook, clean and do laundry...not to mention homework (I thought I did 5th grade already). It is especially hard when you only have the faithful Mar Vista 7 (the moms who I can always count on) but lack the support of administration and teachers. It is a bummer.

Where am I going with this, you ask? Well, with the lack of support I told myself I would show them and not do anything for teacher appreciation week. Cabrones, why should I volunteer my time serving breakfast to people that didn't appreciate what we were trying to do? The truth is that there is a handful of teachers that are excellent in what they do and are grateful but I wasn't focusing on that...hence, I was Darth Vader. I focused on what is not going right.

For those who don't know...I am going to school to become a massage therapist and it includes a change within myself. The school, IBSP in Culver City is awesome! The instructors are awesome and I went through the first 150 hours with a great group of people. During this journey, we learn to let go of baggage we have been holding onto, let go of emotions buried deep within ourselves, we laughed, cried and breathed and learned how to give super, yummy, delicious massages. I reminded myself "You are not Darth Vader cabrona (this is the term of endearment I call myself when I am lecturing myself). Walk into the light Guadalupe, it's a much better place.

So, with this new attitude that I am constantly working on....PTA will be hosting a continental breakfast for the teachers in honor of their hard work and I will keep reminding myself to stay out of the "dark side" because it's cold and it's not easy to breathe through the helmet...

Friends....How many of us have them?

It seems that recently I have been hit with news of friends "falling out". It just got me to thinking (with the two seconds I had free while I was peeling my son's boiled egg) of the balance of a friendship. Like a marriage or relationship, friendship also has its ups and downs. Sometimes we say things out of anger or the words we say to someone cut deep into their soul never to recover completely. In the words of my beautiful "comadre", sometimes people get busy with life and it's not that you forget, you just keep moving.

I wish I could give the advice to folks as to a hint when a friendship is over. Well a definite clue would be it they tell you to f**k off. That is truly a dead in the water friendship. Other times, you just leave it alone, give people space and examine the friendship. Ask yourself, does the good times out weigh the bad? Are there memories that bust your gut from laughter? Were they that shoulder you cried on, the one you told your secrets to, the one who held your hair back as you puked your guts out from too much bacardi and coke?

In my wise 44 years (damn, did I just confess that....hell yeah...I own it people), I have learned to value each friendship with wonderful lessons to be learned. I have friends that I don't talk to as often but when we do manage to get each other on the phone, it is non-stop laughter of life and love (hell yeah, Julia, Denise, Martha...I mean you). There are friends who I only see at our children's birthday parties, yet it takes us back to our college days (minus the hair holding and bacardi and coke). I even love my friends who I only talk to if I call them because again, life is busy. In essence, I am not ready to let go of these friendships so I cherish the beautiful memories and look forward to our next get togethers or 5 minute conversations on the phone.

So amigas and amigos....don't be too pissed off at what happened because I am sure the good list is far longer than the bad. But if the bad list is longer.... TONTOS...what were you thinking??