A few weekends ago my abuelita was in town. I hadn’t seen her in a long while because I have been overwhelmed with my studies and, quite frankly, it’s difficult to travel with my one year old daughter.
We spent the day together. We spent the day cooking, talking, and enjoying each others company…..well, actually, me regañó to the max degree! She scolded me, she nagged me about how undomesticated I am and how little I value the extended family I have in my life, and then she broke out into tears….se le salieron las lagrimas ;(
She reminded me that she grew up with no one. Literally. She was an orphan in Jalisco, Mexico about 60+ years ago. Her older sister went to look for her when she old enough and they lived together for many years. My abuelita reminded me that she had to teach herself everything she knows about life, which included what I lacked, cooking skills to start.
As I was washing dishes she reminded me that, though, I am too busy pursuing a doctoral degree, and she only reached a second grade education, that she is much more educated.
Let me pause…..
I know it seems that I am portraying my abuelita in a negative light, but what I am actually trying to show is a window to my past. Our day together was pleasant. The stories she shared with me and the thoughts about how I am living my life came out of concern and are rooted in the pain she has felt in hers. She was trying to pass down some consejos to me and that is something I can appreciate. The whole day I felt like she was trying to share as much as possible with me about what life has taught her, while at the same time, I know that part of her rambling is due to old age, but still. The woman had something to say.
This post is a perfect example as to why I want my bebita to learn Spanish. Many times when I try to share something, the words that most poignantly describe the thought, story, or sentiment of what I am trying to say are in Spanish.
That particular afternoon, with my Abuelita Cata, could not have been lived had I not known Spanish.