Growing up, I can recall being praised for my achievements from both my mother and my teachers. I was an ambitious student, extremely introverted, but creative and conscientious. To me, when I heard praise, it was synonymous with goodness, citizenship, and the hope of a successful future.
As soon as my son returned from a few days backpacking and tenting in the desert in October, we were off again in November for a weekend in Mexico. There, I got sick for days, my madrina almost choked at a taco stand, my middle son got a nosebleed, my daughter got stung by a cactus, and my mother’s face became puffy from a mite infestation, all during the trip. It’s been an eventful month. The air in California recently has been brutal considering the Woolsey firestorms that misplaced so many. I find myself grateful for much, and even for that which seems hopeless in life, there is room for thankfulness. Being ill is humbling. Being out of the country, albeit for a few days, was a lesson more valuable than what a book can teach.
It is always a risk to bear the cross of Christ, to carry it through the procession of family dissonance. I find myself stuck in this cycle of defending the faith, my Biblical worldview considering what is happening in the culture, as I’m surrounded by extended family or perusing conversations online.
When sewing serves a greater purpose as a respite from writing fatigue
Last week, I was contemplating about the energy and time I put into writing, the unnerving pangs in my stomach that hunger for satisfaction. How quickly my mind is preoccupied with ideas that can only be put to rest in writing.
How saying my name over and over has become a routine
When I was in fifth grade, my teacher decided to give me a new name because it was easier to pronounce. I recall feeling flustered by the whole ordeal—like I had been causing an inconvenience for being who I was. This alone made it hard for me to reconcile one of her comments to me during reading group. She sat in the center of our half donut shaped table and said in a clear and frank tone that I was a scholar. I didn’t know what the word meant at the time but I asked around. I felt embarrassed to ask her myself—I was intimidated by her towering presence and her weekly assessments of our oral readings of poetry and prose, among other public speaking exercises.
The other day a dear writer I’ve come to admire shared a brief Twitter post suffixed with the hashtag of #AndThatsHowIGotThisScar. She recounts through a series of essays how she got her scar one Sunday in the City. It’s haunting and harrowing. But it is a beautiful description of transformation.
On bilingualism, language, and writing with abandon
It is a fight to write. The time it takes to settle my thoughts in front of a blank page when the urge is there and ready but my mind is exhausted from the busy-ness of the homeschool. I live the unconventional modality of the stay-at-home mom, or the work-from-home mom—my children are not shuttled to schools for long hours in the day. Nevertheless, I force myself to start new projects or continue existing ones, measuring all waking hours, making allowances for domestic tasks to go to perdition for just a little while.