I didn’t expect motherhood, not at this point in my life. I was terrified when I found out about my pregnancy. I have never cried so much in my life. I was so scared of what was coming, felt so lost and vulnerable. Now that I have Gael in my arms I wouldn’t change it for the World. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Love just comes out of my pores and I am not ashamed to show it in public. Those who know me get so surprised to see this new Frida. A friend said, “I never thought I would see you like this.” I’ve never been the kind of person that enjoys public displays of affection- there are times I can come across as cold. In private and behind closed doors has always been a different story but with Gael everything changes. I’ve become this corny, mushy, lovey dovey person!!! There are moments I get so surprised at myself when I hear the things I say to him. I’m goo-goo gaga over him!!! And I really do not care who sees me or listens to my crazy baby talk. I love love kissing him and telling him how much I adore him. Everyday I remind him he is the love of my life!! Gael has taken some of my roughness away and has made me a bit softer. I never thought a tiny human being would have so much power over me. I always imagined it but now I’m living it and it makes me so happy.
No, I do not have a partner with me 24/7 nor do I plan on moving in with anyone because of my baby. This is not how I imagined it but it doesn’t mean his father is not involved. It doesn’t mean I’m having a hard time either. Gael will have the both of us in a non-traditional way and that’s more than I ever had! This doesn’t mean my life ends because of how things happened, on the contrary now my life has a completely different meaning. Life has changed, it feels good- more humbled and not as complicated. I cannot say it has been easy but this has only made me stronger and a lot more capable as a woman. I also have a different appreciation for my mother, my family and friends.
You think about so many things when you find out a baby is on the way. At first, I used to think about everything I didn’t get to do, all the trips and plans I had in mind. Now, I’m anxious to do everything I didn’t get to do with Gael by my side. I want to do so much more!!! I want to travel to places I’ve never traveled with him, I want to take him to my favorite places, I want him to adventurous like me, I want him to see corners of the world I never got to see and I want him to be happy doing what he loves.
This crazy happiness I feel cannot be compared to anything I’ve ever felt. I cannot stop thanking God for this wonderful feeling. I never thought I would say this but I’m really enjoying being this mushy-lovey-dovey with my son. I love to kiss him while telling him how much I love him. I love walking next to him and seeing his beautiful smile every time I say something ridiculous. I love dancing with him in the morning and listening to loud music in the car. I love when he tries to find me and his beautiful eyes recognize me. I love when his tiny hand grabs my fingers and does not want to let go. I love to feel his breathing when he falls asleep and cuddles on my chest. I love to watch him play with his father because that’s something I never had. I love to hear him scream because that’s a sign he is strong and healthy. I love to feel this crazy feeling- corny, mushy and lovey dovey. It is all Gael’s fault!
here are a few photos my good friend Carlos took of us!
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Wonder women also cry
We all have had those days when we don’t understand why we feel a certain way. Everything feels too heavy, everything hurts, everything suffocates us and all we want to do is runaway. These are the days we cry with no clear reason and we get mad at ourselves for not being able to understand why we feel this way. And no, I’m not just talking about what most would attribute to that time of the month.
The interesting part about it is how some of us handle these emotions. For some of us it will be very easy to vent and cry to our best friend, husband or mom. But there are others, myself included, that will try to hide everything we feel.
This happened to me months ago and it caught me by surprise. The idea of crying terrified me and the thought of someone seeing me was even worse. I didn’t want anyone to see my eyes filled with tears and about to break down.
What did I do? I closed the door
I hid my pain behind that door because was I was afraid someone would see my vulnerability out in the open.
I’m positive I’m not the only woman this happens to. In our role of strong, independent and self-sufficient women we avoid at all cost showing any type of feeling or emotion that would portray just like society tends to define us: sensitive, weak or vulnerable.
“I do not cry in public because that’s not something I was thought,” says a good friend. When she was a young girl she was told to not cry in public, that crying was meant to be done in private.
I like to call these women- Wonder Women!
My definition of a wonder woman is the one everyone sees as the strongest woman in the world, the most independent, the one that can do everything, the one that solves everything, the one that knows everything, the one that fixes everything, the one that doesn’t need help, the one that can do a million things at once, the one that cares for everyone, the one that always has the answers, the one that knows exactly what to do when the kids get sick, the one that keeps everything in order, the one that never says no, the one that is always there, the one that gets her kids out of trouble, the one that listens, the one that has everything under control and the one that should not cry.
Reality is very different though. Wonder women are not invincible. They are human beings who feel, cry and do it often. The strongest. The ones we least expect. Many do it in silence without anyone noticing, without anyone consoling them, without anyone asking them if they are okay. A wonder woman gets depressed just like any other human being, she also cries, she also wants to be taken care of, she also gets sick and may also be vulnerable.
Showing these emotions doesn’t mean we are weak so don’t be afraid to lose your Wonder Woman title. Don’t be afraid of crying if you need to. Don’t be afraid of saying, “I’m not okay,” out loud. It is your right and someone will always be willing to listen.
If you have a wonder woman in your life don’t be afraid of asking her how she is doing, spoil her or offer to help even if you think she doesn’t need it. She probably will never ask you but all you have to do is pay attention to realize wonder women also cry.
My Culture of Violence
I grew up in a culture in which hitting a child in order for him/her to behave was and still is normal and accepted. When you live in this world you tend to see certain things as normal but when you finally get out of it, it looks very different. This happened to me when I watched the video of a Texas Judge beating his 16-year-old daughter.
Watching the 8-minute long video forced me to think of my own culture of violence.
The toughest part of this was not to watch that man’s rage against his daughter, not her screams of pain pleading him to please stop, nor her mother by his side watching everything and contributing to the beating. According to the young girl, who uploaded the video to the Internet a few weeks ago, happened years ago when the father caught the teen using the Internet? He thought was inappropriate.
Sadly this happens every single day all over the world.
While I’m writing this column, and while you read, a defenseless child is getting a beating similar or worse than the one the teen experienced.
I began to think about the violence millions of women suffer every day and the social pressures we live in. The power and control we are exposed to everyday.
I thought about the young girls who get the same type of beating for doing something boys do but because they are boys it’s not that big of a deal.
In the most conservative cultures, young women are pressured marry virgins otherwise they are considered second-class women or are indecent.
The male on the other hand, if at an early age he decides to have sex is not that big of a deal. Right? Why? The typical answer, “That’s how a man is, it’s in his nature.”
Once the video of the beating hit the Internet, with around 1 million visits in YouTube, many criticized the mother for not doing anything to defend her daughter and for contributing to the beating. To me, it seemed we were being harder on her for allowing it/ how can a mother do that, right? Her lack of action and the one time she hit her 16 year old daughter with the belt seem to weigh more than the 20 times her father hit her.
Watching this video took me back to my childhood and the many times I heard my neighbor scream because his mom or dad beat him. I remembered the purple bruises on friends faces at school, thought of my own family and how this cycle affects and continues to do so.
I’m use to hearing, “that’s just how grandma, mom, dad used to do it… that how you discipline a child.”
But why does it have to be this way? Why do we have to repeat this cycle? Why can’t we realize how much hurt this caused us and how much pain it will cause in our own children if we continue to repeat it?
This is the same cycle that effects thousands of families, it affects the way we resolve our problems, it affects how we talk to our kids and how we discipline them.
If we decide to use violence it is our choice, no one can make us do it.
As a woman it scares me to think my future children will be exposed to a culture of violence but at the same time I’m hopeful and sure that I will end the cycle of violence that for years has affected my family
Halloween is here and the mega sexy costumes are a hot commodity at the stores. Going into these stores its always very interesting to me not just because of the costumes that leave very little to the imagination, but due to the women that buy them. They look like my mom, my aunt, my ultra conservative friend and like a 14-year-old cousin who wants to feel sexy with her playboy bunny outfit.
Next to this super sensual costumes are the children’s costumes, unfortunately some of these have the same adult tone but for 11-year-old girls. At a very early age, without us even realizing, we introduce young girls to a culture that defines a woman as a sexual object. This does make me uncomfortable and troubles me.
Why do we choose these types of costumes? I have to admit I do get curious to see the frida everyone knows in one of those sexy costumes. But reality is that I rather keep certain things to myself and I do not agree with what our cultures defines as sexy. I guess my way of rebelling is a bit different than most ladies.
A good friend says Halloween is a “free pass” to rebel and get out of the daily routine we are boxed in. “I’m tired of people thinking I’m a good girl,” she says. “I want them to know that I am a woman,” and by the way, a sensual woman!
Is this why the rest also dress this way? Maybe so! As women we live under social pressures and always worry about, “what are they going to say?”
What are they going to say if I wear that shirt that shows off my cleavage? What about if I want show off my stomach and legs? But I’m embarrassed. What are people going to think?
A holiday that was once intended for children to dress-up and walk around their neighborhood searching for candy has become the perfect excuse for adults to liberate their hidden curiosities. For many women, this is the perfect time to wear whatever the hell they want without being judged. Why? Because everyone else is doing it! The, “what are they going to say,” doesn’t weigh that much because everyone else is going to be dressed like crazy anyway, right? I think we won’t feel as conscious if we wear the mini skirt or if we show off the bra we love so much but no one eve sees. And what about the black lace panty hoes? How about those platform heels and boots that make us feel powerful?
Every year I opt to rebel against this type of costume, not because I don’t like them but because I refuse to be the “type” of sexy the stores sell. The little red ridding hood with a mini skirt and red panty hoes or the sexy maid with her apron and broom ready to “serve” her master. I refuse to allow that to define my sexy.
Unfortunately, we are used to the certain type of sexy we watch in movies, soap operas, magazine, and even Disney movies. Society measures sexiness according to how much you show or how tight your skirt or shirt is. But I believe a woman can be equally sensual without having to show everything just like society demands. I admire the sexuality of so many women during the Halloween, not because I’m checking them out, but because is refreshing to see female liberation out of the box and daring what’s imposed.
I like to see the liberation of being able to do whatever the hell we want, wherever we want without having to worry about “what would they say.” Why do we have to do it only on this day? Sexuality is something natural and we shouldn’t have to hide it 364 days of the year and only get it out every October 30th. Sensuality shouldn’t depend on a pair of high heels or mini skirts either. We have to learn how to define our own type of sexy with confidence in bodies, our capabilities, intelligence and ourselves. We have to empower our selves and our young girls that women are powerful amazing beings with internal attributes, not just external. THIS should always accessorize your sexy costume.
Posted: Sunday June 19th, 2011
A father is someone who is constantly present, caring and inspiring- but that’s not how I remember my father. He is somewhat a stranger to me, someone my heart refuses to call father. I think this is why I’ve never written about him until now. This is the unwritten letter that has lived in my heart for years, a letter I hope one day he reads.
Letter to the man who didn’t want to be my father
My first memory of you is a visit to your furniture store shortly after the civil war in El Salvador ended. I was dressed to impress with probably with he only “nice” dress and shoes I had during those times. When things got ugly in our town my grandmother and I had to leave the house and couldn’t take much with us. The dress was pink with black squares; my hair was in a ponytail. When we got to your store my aunt asked to see you. I went into your office, I remember you were wearing a white shirt, jeans and your hair was curly and puffy. I remember seeing myself in your eyes and thinking about how much I looked like you. For a moment I thought and hoped you would get up to give me a hug. You didn’t. Instead, you stretched your hand and gave me a yellow envelope with money. I took the envelope and walked out of your office. I was 9 years old.
Not too long ago my mother told me you asked someone for my number and I wonder why. Why now? Why today and not yesterday? Why not years ago?
I do not know you and to tell you the truth I’m not sure if I want to. I never missed you because you were never there. You existed but yet you didn’t. People used to say you were important and well known. What I know about you is limited to what people said but it brings mixed feelings and questions.
Where do you come from? How are you? Where are my grandparents from? What are their names? How are the children you did choose to raise? Do they look like me? I know physically I resemble you but I like to think everything else is very much like my mother. She is the reason I’ve come so far. My mother and grandmother have been mother and father. The father you never wanted to be.
I’ve never celebrated father’s day. The feeling is strange and a bit uncorfortable to even imagine. I always avoided the thought until now. The heart avoids certain feelings and thoughts when afraid of getting hurt.
To me a father is a man that exists, is constant, present and interested in the life of his children during the good and bad. A man who is there to care, love and inspire. I’m thankful and fortunate to know wonderful men that fit this description and have been my mentors and role models. I’m also hopeful that my future children will have a good father.
I don’t understand why you never loved me or if you did, why didn’t you ever show it? Why didn’t you ever want to be part of my life? Why weren’t ever interested to know what ever happened to me after my mother left? You never came to visit, never remember a birthday or a graduation. I do not owe you anything but the sperm you deposited into my mother’s womb. Maybe I should thank you for the occasional money you sent. My existence is in part thanks to you but my survival has nothing to do with you and everything to do with my mother and grandmother.
I do not hold any grudges against you. I don’t really know how to define my feelings towards you. I don’t think I feel Love because you don’t deserve it. I don’t even feel anger because it’s not worth it. I do not owe you respect because you never earned it. I feel disappointment because you chose not to be there.
You don’t know me and I’m not sure if you will ever care to know me. But you have to know you missed out on having a great daughter. You missed a chance to share precious moments with a dark skinned, crazy curious little girl who would’ve loved you so much. You missed an opportunity to see that little girl become a strong, independent, professional and at times crazy woman.
Mr. Alejandro Diaz, despite myself, the pass, what never happened and could’ve happened I wish you the very best.