Why do we love our mom? Because she put up with us, that’s why. You had moi, the eldest, who was basically the Vanessa Huxtable of the group because while I didn’t mess up often, when I did I messed up BIG. Case in point, I only ditched school once in her care. I still don’t know how she found out but as soon as I came home, she had me like…
Then you had the middle one. This was the kid who always found himself in some random situation that made you cock your head to the side and wonder “why did he…how did he…?” If Mom ever decided to discuss some random, questionable situation one of her kids got into, chances are she’d talk about the middle kid. Kind of like that one Saturday morning we discovered him hanging from the kitchen cabinets by his underwear. Just…silently swinging. Yeah, he was that kid, and we still don’t know how he managed that one.
Then you have the little one, who eventually became the tallest one. If we were to feed into that “all latinos are fiery/spicy/will-cut-you-with-no-hesitation” stereotype, the little one would be the one I’d point to and be like, “That’s him! That’s the guy!” However, he is, and has always been, the biggest teddy bear I’ve ever known.
Man…the memories I have…Times weren’t always good. I mean, life happens. But instead of thinking about all the crap we’ve dealt with through the years, I try to focus on the good stuff. Like Christmases.
Or impromptu photo shoots in the bathroom before bathroom shots became a real thing.
I think about how she would randomly start a game of catch in the living room with balloons and tire us out as she played and laughed with us. I think about how she would feed a family of five with a small bag of rice, a can of tomato sauce, and a can of corn beef and make it feel like Thanksgiving. I think about how excited she was about my first date at 15 and how she dressed me and did my hair. I think about how she tore through our neighborhood causing the biggest scene because my bullies finally decided to beat me up. You guys, it was epic. She collected people from the neighborhood and led them like the Pied Piper of fed up mothers and and confronted everyone who bothered me. And by confronted, I mean cursed out. Loudly. With feeling.
That was the last time I was bothered, I’ll tell you that. Good job, Mom.
I remember multiple times she would call me in tears because she worried about my brothers. All the times I overheard her praying for our protection and God’s blessings over our lives. How the little one and middle one would do silly stuff to annoy her and make her laugh. God help her when they tagged teamed the shennanigans. She never fails to get ecstatic over new pictures of my neices and nephews. The joy she gets in her voice when she mentions them is nothing short of infectious.
Bad times don’t exist when we can hear her happy.
Why do we love our mom? Because not loving her isn’t an option. Despite the crazy lives we have — hers included — she still takes the time to keep us in her thoughts, in her prayers, and occasionally, in her home. When we lash out and make mistakes, she’s there. When we dive headfirst into a passion, be it music, art, or writing, she’s right there cheering us on. She’ll give her last to us if she knows we’re in need. Shucks, even when she didn’t have, she still found a way to make a way for us. Not too many people know the sacrifices she’s made. We know some, and for that and more, we can’t love her enough.
Thanks, Ma, for being our rock. We love you.