May 05, 2011

ODE to Mommy Dearest

In a recent writing prompt we were told to write about a memory and the one that sticks out in my head right now is one when I was about 6 years old before I begin this isn't a happy, special memory. If you have followed me for awhile you have read my ups and downs with my parents since I was young, but through the dysfunction of my relationships with them I have stopped the cycle with my own children.

At the time, I was having fun swimming in our Jacuzzi when my mother came out and told me that I needed to get out because my father was going to be bringing some people over to tend to our backyard. This meant 2 things to me as a 6 year old girl 1. Fun time was over 2. THOSE people were coming over again.

I looked at my mom and mumbled

“I wish that they would go back where they came from”

With a stern look my mom replied

“ what did you say!!”

My little bratty self repeated myself . This was my first lesson in “think before you speak”

She then boldly said “ well then that would mean your grandmother and I would have to go back”

I began to argue the fact that my grandmother and mom were NOT the same as them and that they didn’t live on San Fernando Blvd or come from across the border. I remember having this conversation with my mom and wondering why she was making such a big deal about this and why did she have to bring my grandmother into this conversation. I just wanted to continue swimming!!

She then told me that I had hurt her feelings and would have to answer to my father. “WHAT”….I jumped out of the Jacuzzi and stomped behind my mom wondering why I had to answer my father. The answer I got just baffled me and still baffles me to this day. She said “I’m not going to talk to you, you will have to go to your father if you need anything” she  turned and went on her pouty way. There I stood sopping wet wondering what the heck just happened.

“my mom is ignoring me because I didn’t want the dirty old men to come and disturb my swim while they work in the backyard?”.  I went to my dad and asked why mom was pouting and he told me that I hurt her feelings. “you got to be kidding me !” I thought.  I began to tell my father that those men that he picks up on the blvd are dirty and I just wanted them to go back where they came from and that grandma and mom were NOT from the streets of San Fernando or Mexico.  My dad just told me to go and tell my mom sorry.

So there I stood in my wet bathing suit staring at the men tending to our backyard confused at what just transpired and to make things even more interesting … mother didn’t talk to me for a week!!

My  mother ignored me , a six year old little girl who didn’t know any better for a week because I didn’t understand why these men were on the streets looking for work. She never sat me down to make me understand or have a clearer heart for these men who are trying to earn money for their families. She made this about her….not about correcting her misguided 6 year old.