A Letter to Mexico

Dear Mexico,

Happy anniversary!  I wanted to write you to thank you for what you’ve done for me.  It was three years ago that I came to meet you–and I remember my loneliest New Year’s Eve in a hotel listening to fireworks booming outside.  I was nervous to say the least.  I had heard the worst stories about you!  In fact, that night in the hotel, I huddled beneath the blankets with great trepidation.

They said to be careful.  After all, my countrymen were disappearing by the dozens.  They said to watch what I ate and drank, and I admit, I was worried too those first few days!  They encouraged me to try to communicate with you–but it took me a few weeks to open up to you.  They weren’t always right about you, but they said what they said with the best of intentions.

Mexico, I have to tell you, they don’t really know you like I do.  They are used to walking around with their noses stuck in their smart phones.  They don’t look up enough.  If they did, they would see the curiosity on the faces of your people.  They would see the colors of the buildings (just as bright as Charleston’s Rainbow Row).  They don’t know you very well, or they wouldn’t write so much about the scary things.  And they most certainly haven’t had enough of your street food and lemonade with questionable ice.  You offer so much more than cartels, mass graves, and dishonesty.  There is a side of you that they don’t get to see enough of–and it is time you let that side show!

You have been good to me.  He used to say, “Give me your tired, your poor…” but he doesn’t really mean it.  I know.  I left when I was poor and broken– and YOU are the one that healed me.  You picked me up, and dusted off my britches.  You put band-aids on my wounds, and told me that everything would be alright.  You helped me stop looking at what I had left behind long enough to see what was ahead of me.  And the wooing… oh, how you wooed me!  Before I knew it, I was your’s for the taking.  YOU did that, Mexico.  You helped me to love again.

The first year with you, I found my heart.  What a gift you gave me in my sweet husband!  The second year you stretched my capacity to love even more–and that sweet man gave me a sweeter hijita.  She shines with the brightest of light–and I know that God’s plan for her is great.  Finally, in year three I became permanently yours–free to go and work where I will within your borders.  What will this year bring me?  What do you have in store for me now, Mexico?

I am ready.  If I have learned anything in three years, it is to embrace you with open arms.

Your’s truly,

Jania

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A Letter to Baby on Father’s Day

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Dear Sweet Baby,

You should know, your daddy loves you more than any other man ever could. Someday, if your path leads to marriage, you will began looking for a husband. I am hoping that day will be when you’re older–and wiser about what you should look for in a mate. Oh! how I wish I could tell you to hold out for the right man! But if you’re anything like your mama, you’ll have to find him the hard way.

A couple days ago, I asked your daddy, “Victor Papi, what’s the best thing about being a dad?” He paused for a moment, and replied, “Having a daughter.” My heart melted. You are his treasure, he’ll do anything to give you the best (not the most expensive) things in life. That doesn’t mean toys and electronics, baby.

Nope! That means that he is willing to stay in Mexico as long as necessary, because you need to speak Spanish proficiently. He can’t wait for you to learn all the things a good Mexican (woman) knows.

“Someday,” he tells me, “I want you to teach my baby how to make tortillas. And she needs to learn to put things where they go. I don’t want her to put her things all over the place.” I can’t wait to teach you how to be a Mexican, my love. But you must learn to be American too.

So if you choose to have a Mexican husband, you should let him make tortillas every once in a while. Let him change the diapers, cook the supper, and mop the floor. Because a good American woman lets her husband share household responsibilities.

Giving you the best means that he is willing to stay home with you all day long–even when he’s going crazy being stuck in the house. It means that he washes your cloth diapers Mami bought you, because he wants the best from your head to your toes bottom! It means that he will go with you to get your shots, even though he starts to tear up when you’re in pain. It means that he is willing to cut a trip short to see his parents, because he doesn’t want you to be hot and covered in mosquito bites! Oh, honey, you are so loved.

I see the way your daddy looks at you–and the way you light up when he talks to you. You’ve got a good one, Bebita! Be nice to him, okay? I dread the day you’ll be embarrassed to kiss him goodbye. Or if you become embarrassed about being Mexican. I know teenagers get a little weird, but please be sweet to your daddy always. Give me your mean and snarkiness, I can take it…

Actually, Sweet Pea, if you could just stay loving, that would make us all happy…

Someday, my love, you will realize all that your daddy has done for you. You will think him all day with a heart full of love. When that day comes, don’t forget to call him on Father’s Day. That’s only something your mommy does…

Love,
Mami

P.S. Happy Father’s Day to the first man that loved me. XOXO

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