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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Having a Kid Changes Everything

You know when you are pregnant and people - specially those ladies with plenty of unsolicited advice- tell you "Oh! Your life is about to change..." And of course you look at them smile politely and think: "Oh! Like I didn't know that!!! I mean...Look at me, I never thought I would be praying to fit into these size 12 jeans! Life has changed alright!!!" Then you have that baby, go home and realize, "Yes! Life has changed in more ways than you ever thought could be possible!"
And what I mean is, we are all ready for the 2am feedings, the diapers, the spiting, the buggers, the diapers, the lack of sleep, the few extra-pounds that won't budge, and more diapers that motherhood throws our way. But motherhood is a strange animal, a creature with an agenda of its own. I suppose priority #1 in the agenda is "raise this human being to a fulfilling, successful adulthood".  However, with no clear instructions or map, we all embark on a tough journey. Soon enough we begin to question our priorities, reorganize our value charts, and even make some hard choices along the way. All in the good spirit of motherhood and what's best for the little humans we are in charge of.

To me motherhood has come in the form of a little annoying elf -remember Harry Potter's own Dobbie?- that comes every now and then and doesn't let me sleep with questions like: "Do you think what you just did was fair?" "Will he remember that when he is 20 or 30?" "Well, don't you think that could have made a wonderful teachable moment?" Tons of questions about my job as a mom, about me, where I come from and what I would like for my little human.

As an American who is not an American in the full sense of the word, since I was born and raised in a different country and immigrated to this wonderful one later in life, the anawers to these questions can be very philosophical and intricate. Because I, myself, struggle everyday with loving and enjoying our American way of living while being truthful, respectful and accepting of the culture that is woven into every cell of my body and of which I am very proud.
The interactions between the American me, the Colombian me, and the mom me yield some interesting results in terms of the way I view this world and our society. The very stage where my child's life is being played. The experiences he will have, the lessons he will learn, the things he will do in the future will all be determined to a certain extend by the way he and I shape our identities as people who have a different cultural background, and a specific way of looking at our world.  Hopefully we will come out enriched as we share those views with the people we encounter.
My ambition as a mom is for my son to love, be proud of, and deeply respect both cultures and for them to be the keys that open the door to experiencing, learning, and respecting the many other cultures and ways of living that he may encounter throughout his life.  For my son to learn to interact with people based on the richness of their personality and ignoring the labels that society will want to impose on him and them.
And so this blog is born. Welcome to my journey.


  1. What a beautiful post, and I love that last paragraph! I can relate so much to it! As mothers we will always worry about our children, and hope that they will not be judge by what they look like or speak like as to who they really are; and I too expect him to see others the same. Gracias!

  2. Hello Soraya, I am so happy that someone is taking the time to put in writing what we all multicultural moms experience. I identify completely with your post and also will add some of the struggles and challenges of raising no only a bi-cultural but also hopefully a bilingual child. As you say with the ability to identify with two different cultures and languages. Is quite a challenge!