I never thought I would say this, but I've seriously become my mom, not a regular mom, but a Latina mom, and yes there's a big difference! Growing up Hispanic I'd roll my eyes at the things my mom would do that were, well different than other moms. I didn't think much of it back then but now looking back I completely get it. I can now find humor and see my 3 year old daughter rolling her eyes at the things I do, but I hope that one day she too can look back and appreciate these different things.
When my daughter was just starting to walk there were many falls. I would always rub her boo boo and say "Sana Sana Colita de Rana..." Now she looks at me and if I don't say it, she gets mad and says , “ But you didn't say Sana, Sana!" All I can say is that Sana Sana works every time to get her to stop crying. Now I get it! Thanks mami.
I remember growing up surrounded by kids who would take lunchables, sandwiches, or buy a slice of pizza for lunch. My mom would say, "pizza no es comida." Our meals consisted of arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), sancocho (hearty beef stew), congri (Cuban black beans and rice), arepas (corn cakes), tamales, rabo encendido (ox tail), ropa vieja (shredded braised beef), and calentados (reheated leftovers with and added egg and arepa for breakfast).
I appreciated my mom’s fusion of traditional Colombian cuisine with other Latin recipes. Just like my mom, I too prefer that my daughter eats a real meal, though we do do pizza Fridays. I too integrate other Latin flavors but I try to make healthier alternatives, like arroz con pollo made with brown rice.
Growing up Hispanic we never left the house without “la bendición”, even when we rushed out of the house, you could see my mom in the distance making the sign of the cross in the air. In Colombia, when you get married its custom for the couple to kneel before their parents and receive a marriage blessing before the wedding ceremony. When I got married it was important to me to have their blessing (pic below). Fast forward post family, and here I find myself giving my daughter la bendicion before she's off to preschool. It began when she started daycare. I'd give her a hug and felt that something was missing. I guess in my subconscious mind I became a little girl again when my mom would hug me goodbye and give me her daily blessing. I give my daughter la bendición everyday. I have become my mom.
If you're like me you'll probably carry everything you need for a "just in case," situation and more. Growing up Hispanic my mom would always and I mean always have with her a lipstick, powder, and toilet paper. She'd tell me how you should always look your best and never forget to carry toilet paper.
She'd cringe if she saw my makeup free, low key Instagram stories, but she'd be proud to look in my Latina Bag below (1) and find: 2. Sweat Now Tacos Later Water bottle, 3. Kleenex tissues, 4. Up and Up travel wipes, 5. Victoria's kitty bag (think that was a gift) with crayons, markers, stamps, 6. Play Pack Grab & Go (I order these variety packs and surprise her with a new one on our outings, they last quite a bit and keep her entertained without electronics) 7. My old phone in my absolute favorite case, 8. Moo business cards , 9. a Mi Legasi pen (from our Nov 2017 box), 10. my new travel wallet (birthday gift from my bff), 11. a folding travel brush/comb , 12. my drugstore powder (it changes so I won't recommend), 13. my drugstore lipstick in magenta (that also changes), 14. a number of snacks, today was Annie's Cheddar bunnies.
True story. When I was like 10 or 11 my mom sent me to the store to get "Vaporú," I remember asking the guy on the floor if they had "Vaporú." I'll never forget the look he gave me and asked, "Oh do you mean Vaporub?" I said "No, my mom needs Vaporú." The guy smirked, pulled out the Vaporub, and asked me if that's what my mom needed. I think I must have turned a million shades of red, it was what we needed. I guess I just never read the label. I was so angry at my mom for not calling it by it's proper name. Your mom may have called it "Vis."
Here I am years later and I swear by it. My husband has gotten the generic brand and nope, not in my house. That thing works!...on your child (though get the child version for them), on you, during winter for the humidifiers, for a headache, if your feet ache, and apparently it works on your gut (though I don't think my husband would appreciate the smelly wife!). Sounds like an infomercial right? Don't get me wrong, it still stinks, but as my dad would say, if it doesn't stink or taste bad, it's not going to work.
You know what look I'm talking about. When your kid is 20 ft away from you doing something that they're not suppose to be doing and they can feel your eyes on top of them. They slowly turn to meet your eyes and BAM! They quickly pretend like they weren't doing anything and give you a smile, quite possibly followed with (in my daughter's case), "Mami, I love you." If this ever happens to you, know that you've inherited, "the look."
If you're typically a non confrontational, more passive person, you may discover a side of you that you never knew existed. My mom was mostly calm and passive, except when we'd piss her off and she'd lunge a flying chancla (slipper)! I'll never forget the day when we were at a stoplight, windows down, and two guys approached the car grabbing my mom and her friend, roughing them up so they could get to their purses. They attempted to reach for the back seat where I was sitting. That's when I met "la fiera" (a wild animal). My mom scratched, punched, and bit her assailants until they ran off with only bruises and bloody scratches. The first thing that my mom did was turn around and make sure that I was ok. Me? After this trauma she worried about me?
I get it now. Thank God I've never encountered anything like that, my biggest confrontation was with a 13 year old kid. Yup, you heard right. We were at the playground, Victoria was 2 years old playing on a bridge. This kid carelessly ran into her and knocked her over. I did the civil thing any parent would do. I told the kid to please watch where he's going because she's much smaller and that this was the toddler area. He ignored me, no parents to be found. It happened again, except this time he pummeled into her but this time "la fiera" came out. I stopped the kid dead in his tracks and these are the exact words that came out of my mouth. "Listen you little shit, if I catch you running in this area again, I'm going to pummel you and hurt you!" Ok so NOT the most civil thing a parent should say to a kid and for the record I've never pummeled anyone in my life, but the point is, when you're a Latina mom, watch out, "la fiera" will come out and she may just take over!
Hispanic Heritage Month is here and I wanted to celebrate the most important Hispanic person growing up in my life my mom. I am proud to become a little like her. She was and is a great mom, but that's not because she is a regular mom, she's a Latina mom ;)
What about you? How have you become like your Latina mom? Share your thoughts, we'd love to swap stories!
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