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.

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