Spanish was my first language, I was a foreigner growing up even though I was born and raised in Arizona. My parents are from Mexico. For about five years, t’was only me. I am the oldest, which I still don’t know how I feel about. Mi papi knowing a teeny tiny English and my mami knowing zer0 still got around. And, that never stopped my mami teaching me useful good shit.
Mi mami taught me my vowels, constants, and how to write. Everyday. I was about five years old, she’d make me write my name, address, phone numbers, words, phrases, also she would make me read a fuck ton. Without that women, I wouldn’t be good at reading and writing, plus my handwriting isn’t chicken scratch (no offense).
Anyways, when I started kindergarten I cried nonstop. “Mi mami, no me dejes.” I learned to get over that real quick though. One night, mi mami received a phone call. Guess who? My kindergarten teacher. She was worried about me because I never participated in class and never talked to classmates. Well of course how was I suppose to? No hablé ingles! Slowly but surely, I gained comfort, forcefully anyway.
To tell you the truth, it took me forever to feel comfortable in my own ethnicity. I hated my skin color. I hated being in the “low class” because my parents only worked a low minimum wage job. With that said, it wasn’t till I was in second grade that mi mami y papi got their first house (I still live here too). I hated getting made fun of because of the clothes I used to wear. I wish I could have kicked those people.. just kidding, but it was not nice. Nonetheless, to this very day, I get frustrated that my pronunciation
Fast forwarding to TODAY, I took pride in my language and am beyond grateful to be Mexicana. My job just started a Spanish team for the department I work in. At first, I was super anxious and not confident, Throughout the years, you start to lose and forget certain words if you don’t talk the a certain language often. Which is happening to me. Despite that, I still applied and took the shot. I earned the position and begun today. Bilingual is beautiful and so is my culture. I love being Mexicana even though it took some years to realize it. I love the food, the people, the stories, the holidays, todo me gusta. Ironically, Mothers day is just around the corner– this is for you mami.
“Gracias mami, por enseñarme lo que necesitaba, sin ti no lo hubiera hecho”.
“Thank you mommy for teaching me everything i needed, without you I wouldn’t have done it”.