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Grateful Kids?

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We received soo many Christmas gifts for the kids (thank you God!) that we told our little girl that she had to go thru her current toys and give us stuff she was no longer playing with so we could donate them to kids who were less fortunate. She was great about it and we got a bunch of stuff together. Now her favorite phrase is “We have to donate it Mami”. I smile every single time.

As mentioned in a previous post ever since I gave birth to our daughter I have become an emotional weakling. Case and point, the other night McFarland USA the Disney movie was on TV. It is about a group of Hispanic boys who live in McFarland, California, pick fruit before and after school and manage to become a Cross Country team who win the State Championship with the help of their coach- “Blanco” played by Kevin Costner. I cry every single time I watch this movie. It is a great story, a true story but what really gets me is how thankful and grateful these kids are. There is a scene where their coach-Kevin Costner takes them to see the ocean for the first time-I cry my eyes out!!

I am a broken record, I tell my daughter all the time how lucky she is and how she has to thank God for everything she has. I sound like my mother! But it is true. I am sure our parents felt this way about us too especially as immigrants but today’s youth is so obsessed with $ and material things. Everything is about consumption. “Mami my toy broke, I need to go buy another one”. “Mami, lets buy another iPad for baby brother” As if money grew on trees! God I am getting old..

I traveled quite a bit to Latin America as a child and I saw what it is like for the rest of the world, I learned what the real world was like, I saw kids who didn’t have parents, shoes, food or even running water! I went to school with very wealthy and privileged children in Manhattan so when I saw what the third world was like it was a bit shocking but it was good. I needed to see stuff like that. In my opinion we do our children a disservice by sheltering them, even if we think its for their own safety. Even when I went thru tough times-didn’t have a place to live, was being threatened I couldn’t come to school because my mom was late with her tuition payment (thanks Catholic school), I realized it sucked but I saw that it could be a lot worse. I realize how easily things can come and go. I pray that I can stay focused and teach my kids how to be thankful and grateful. I am not sure how I am going to do it but I will take each day as it comes. I am 100% committed to keeping my daughter and son REAL and aware of the REAL world. Even if we live in the Fourth most expensive places to live.  I am taking it day by day…

I used to be an Ice Princess

ice skatesIt’s true, I used to be an ice princess. I rarely cried, had very tough skin-I told people I was like an armadillo and it took a lot for you to offend me. If you came at me, I would come at you 3x as hard. That was just the way I was. Life taught me to be that way and well my mom too. I was taught not to rely on anyone, I was Miss Independent and self sufficient, yes even after I got married.

Then I had a baby and became an emotional mess. My hard shelled exterior had crumbled! I would cry all the time. When I was happy or sad. I realized how much I needed people. I didn’t know how to take care of a newborn?! I needed to be supervised for God’s sake. But guess what? No one was there except me. My husband had to go back to work after 2 weeks and my mom worked full time. Whenever they could help they did but I was still alone most of the time.  I realized that saying ” its takes a village” is soo true! After a year and a half of dealing with depression I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I didn’t need drugs to see the light (happy dance!). Little by little I started to laugh again,  figured stuff out as we all do when we have kids and I got it together. As time passed I learned how to do things on my own but also realized that I needed help and that there was no shame in that. We are all different, some of us need more help than others.

I don’t remember the day that I was “better” but it did happen. And then something strange happened-I decided I wanted another baby! It was such a crazy thought because during the first year of our daughter’s life my husband and I told anyone that would listen that she was to be an only child. As soon as I found out I was pregnant again, I was worried that my depression would come back but guess what? It didn’t. I don’t know if it was because this time around I had help on a daily basis or if I just simply didn’t have the time to fall apart. Either way I snapped back to myself quite quickly and I felt great. I felt blessed, fulfilled and HAPPY.

Yes, I am still emotional and I am still a mess but I am happy! Yes, one can be happy in life and still cry when watching:

a St Jude Commercial

an ASPCA Commercial

a Folgers coffee commercial

The news

The list goes on…

I used to think that people who cried at these things were weak pussies. Yes,  I used to see things in black and white.

Today, I can say that it is not that simple. I laugh and cry and curse A LOT. I truly feel things and for others and I realize how short life is and how blessed we are, regardless of how shitty our day/month/year has been. Everyone out there is someone’s baby. As Mami’s let’s be compassionate, understanding and NOT judgmental.

Like I said, I used to be an ice princess..