Honestly, I have no clue where to begin. Even for myself, I ask what that means. I don’t think the conversation was ever had in my childhood home, and I don’t remember my grandparents bringing it up.
Up until recently, it was a battle to get Olivia to listen to me speak in Spanish. She would pitch fits when I would read her a bedtime story in Spanish (Pio Peep), and would scream at me to speak to her in English. Trixie doesn’t know any better, so she rolls with it. Their school has introduced this at least once a week, and that’s helping us transition back into it. It’s really much more than language, though, and I’m working hard to find a way to understand the importance of my Mexicaness.
What I plan to share with them is our immigration history, which is something my dad and a cousin are working on tracing back. Both sides of my family come from Mexico, working in fields and various opportunities to make a better life for their families – sound familiar?
And there is SO MUCH cultural history to share, it’s a little overwhelming. Do I print out all the Pintresty things? Do I sit them in front of the television documentaries? Do I take them to all the events at Market Square? I need to make time to take them to the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, and I’m signing Olivia up for dance classes in January.
What about the food? I, myself, am learning about all the regional food differences. I grew up in my grandmother’s kitchen, so those smells and tastes are part of my identity. I need to make more time to do this at home, with them. I love Diana Kennedy’s cookbook, The Art of Mexican Cooking, which shows so much of her love of the food and it’s history.
Going to Mexico has been a challenge. Most of my family that remains has moved from the border, and the border area itself is questionable in it’s safety. How can I share with them the wonders of the mercados, of my tias making food outside, of the goats and chickens that taunted me while I played?
So, really, we are all going to learn what being Mexican means to us.
I’m going to begin our lessons in earnest with Dia de los Muertos and work through holidays. Food, music, art, and stories seem like a great place to start. Let me know if you want in on the fun, I seriously need some crafting help.
This post is a part of the #TXLatinoBlog Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop. Visit the bloggers listed below as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month together/ juntos!