Family life from the feminist perspective; can women have it all? Can anyone?
Piece of Me
It was still dark outside as the small boy stretched in his bed. He didn't want to open his eyes just yet as he curled into his blanket. It smelled of his abuela (grandmother); cigars, Maja soap, and a hint of a soft floral off- brand perfume. He smiled as a tiny tear rolled down his cheek. Today was Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and he wanted to get an early start to make his abuela proud. 'Time to get up. Move your body, muevete (move), let's go,' he thought as he slowly sat up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. As his feet touched the floor he smelled fresh bread baking. He gave a quick stretch and headed towards the bathroom. He held back tears as he saw the bar of Maja soap but decided to use it to wash his face. "Macho! Are you awake? Come eat breakfast mijo (son)." He walked in the direction of his mother and she greeted him with a smile identical to his abuela's. He didn't know how he was going to make it through the day. His abuela passed away only months ago and this would be the first Dia de los Muertos that had a family member he actually knew. Abuela Yolanda was his favorite abuela. He loved his abuela Gloria but she was strict and chanclas (house slippers) were her weapon of choice when he misbehaved. Abuela Yolanda never got upset with him and was always patient with him. She made sure to get involved with all of his interests and even dressed as a luchadora (wrestler) one time when he was sad because he wasn't old enough to go to a Lucha Libre match (wrestling match). He stiffened his chin and hugged his mama as she handed him a plate of eggs and rice. His morning routine seemed to drag on forever. He did his chores and helped set up the ofrenda (remembrance altar) with marigolds, sweet bread, candy, candles and the offerings his mom entrusted him to handle. Lastly he set up his favorite photo of abuela Yolanda right next to the photo of abuelo (grandfather) Miguel. Once he was done helping his mother set everything up she allowed him to wander off into town for the celebrations. He always used to love the celebrations but today he only half-heartedly enjoyed seeing all of the spectacular parades and costumes. He sat down at the children's table and asked the face painter to add his abuela's favorite flower as she skillfully turned his face into a skull. "Aye hijo (child) you look so guapo (handsome)! You'll make your familia (family) so proud! Who will be visiting you tonight?" The face painter looked at him so lovingly while she awaited his answer. He shuffled his feet and looked down as he said, "Mi abuela Yolanda (my grandmother Yolanda). She loved the flower that you painted on my face. Do you really think she will visit me tonight?" Her smile reached her eyes as she assured him that she would. He thanked her as he walked toward another children's activity. Her words made him feel a little better and he enjoyed the rest of the festivities. The day was turning into evening as he decided to make his way home to join his mother for the night procession to the cemetery. "Mijo (son) are you ready? I have candles and marigolds, bread and water. Am I forgetting anything?" He shook his head no as he helped his mother carry her items. He didn't know if he was going to be able to keep his tears from falling as they walked through the town. The reality of her not being with him was hitting his heart like a fist to his chest. He tried not to think of her as they walked on. He watched his feet as he stepped on the marigold petals wondering if the dead were walking alongside them. They finally reached the cemetery and headed to their family plot. He helped his mother decorate all of their family's headstones and lit candles next to each of them. They saved Abuela Yolanda's headstone for last. "Mama, I miss you so much. Thank you for everything. Te quiero (I love you)." He listened as his mother silently wept. She started to set up the bread and cups of water near the headstones while he stayed at his abuela's. He dropped to his knees as the tears fell from his eyes. "Abuela, I miss you so much! Life is not the same without you. I can't do this without you! How am I going to do anything without you? I need you!" He pleaded with her to come back to him and pounded the ground in frustration. A single marigold floated down in front of him. He sniffled and wiped the snot from his nose as he picked it up. A breeze hit his face, filling his nostrils with the sweet smell of his abuela's perfume and cigar smoke. "Macho, no llores (do not cry). Javier, mi Machito (macho) you must not be sad. I am here with you, always." He heard her words but could not see her anywhere. Suddenly he felt her warm embrace as if she was in front of him hugging him. He closed his eyes as he cherished this moment. When he slowly opened his eyes he gasped in shock as he saw abuela Yolanda right in front of him. "Macho you look so handsome! I will always be by your side whether you can see me or not. Thank you for my ofrendas (offerings). The marigolds are so beautiful! You got the biggest ones I see! Look at the colors! So vibrant! You always had an eye for the best flowers. I love you so much Macho!" He smiled as his heart filled with so much love, "I love you too abuela. I am sad I don't have you here anymore. I'm going to miss your hugs and your laughter. Will you visit me every Dia de los Muertos?" She laughed, "Of course Machito. You don't have to worry about that. I will always come to visit you. I must go now but please do not be sad. Anytime you need me, I will be there. I promise mi amor (my love)." He watched as she slowly faded away as the breeze blew through her. "I love you abuela." He closed his eyes once more, replaying her words in his head. As he opened them he saw his mother walking towards him and he smiled at her. He had a new sense of calm as he met up with her, "Mama, I love you." She smiled down at him and wiped the tear from her cheek. "Let's go home mi amor." He nodded his head and hugged her. He took her hand as they headed home, "Mama you don't have to miss abuela. She said she will always be with us." She squeezed his hand as they walked silently the rest of the way home. He was finally at peace with his abuela's passing.
Be Seen and Not Heard
It happened again last week. I was at a large meeting and the person next to me commented that I am always so calm and soft-spoken.
My Life In Pine Glen
I moved into an older apartment building with my two baby girls. Being a single mom at eighteen, I really couldn’t afford much.
Boss. It's More Than a Title, it's a State of Mind.
Let's get our facts straight. Moms are bad a** bosses. Each mom out there hustles, day-in and day-out to give their children the life that they deserve. It looks different in each mom's circumstance, and every mom has their own special brand of boss mom magic. They use their powers to teach us extraordinary life lessons. From self-care, to love advice, to moral guidance. Moms provide us with the foundation for our future, and we are lucky to have these boss ladies in our lives.
Love Conquers All
My mother taught me unconditional love. She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. She always held me on such a high pedestal, but I don’t feel as though I ever succeeded as being the daughter she truly needed. However, I still have time.
A Childless Daughter That Is A Motherless Child
The women who have gone through their fertile years escaping the world of motherhood, are cut from the same cloth. I find that the women who do not want children, felt this deep within their soul early in their life when they were in their late teenage years.
The Price of Strength
He’s going to die. The thought was crystal clear. It came unsolicited and rang through my mind like the toll of a bell. A singular thought independent of emotion as I found him in the hospital bed. My mind had already processed the information my eyes had provided. It took all of what…. thirty seconds? The rest of me had to play catch up.
Painful Memories of Love
When I was little, about 6 years old, I was sitting in the back of my parent’s car, not on the seat with my seat belt on, but curled up on the floor. My dad was always very strict with safety. If we didn’t sit nicely in the car, he would stop the car, force our seat belts on and talk sense to my brother and me for as long as necessary before getting back in the driver’s seat.
I sit in the dim parlor, waiting. The stiff horsehair cushions beneath me are a gaudy orange that nearly matches the peach of the drapes – both glaringly bright and sickeningly pale at once. The roses on the sampler in my hands weep in despair as I prick my finger yet again in my boredom. Across the room, the bright sunshine of the forbidden outdoors gleams tauntingly around the drapes. My eyes remain fixed on the dust motes sparkling in a sharp lance of light that pierces the gloom to land on the floor near my feet. Far in the distance, I can hear the sounds of people – voices shouting, the crunch of footsteps on the rough gravel paths, Cook yelling at someone out back in the garden. If only I could join them instead of being imprisoned in here.
A Life Away From Glitz And Glamour
Beauty pageants across the world are one of the easiest ways to get into the world of showbiz. You win these contests, do the typical one year of goodwill ambassador service and step directly into a world known for its glitz and glam. Isn't this the best shortcut to celebrity status?
I'm not 100% positive I remember my mother. I think I might have a real memory, but I'm not sure. In my mind I'm on a bus, standing next to the driver, and looking down the stairwell. I see my mother: she's outside the bus and to the right of the open doors. There's a stroller tipped up onto the steps. She's looking up at me.
Why I Don't Want Kids As a 31 Year Old Woman.
I don't remember the moment I decided I didn't want kids. I remember the first time someone tried to tell me I'd change my mind, but I don't remember the exact moment I decided it wasn't for me. Looking back, it was very obvious as a child because I never mentioned having kids when they asked what I wanted to be when I grow up. If it was mentioned, it was an afterthought. More like, "I guess after I'm an astronaut I'll take a break to have some kids, then back to space I go." Because that's how it works.