God bless Mexeco


In lieu of something written by me (I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!*), I offer here, for your Cinco de Mayo reading pleasure, something written by my daughter at an unspecified time last month.  It just appeared in the house one afternoon. I know two of her classmates and chums have visual artist moms who have been volunteering art instruction in the class, and I know at one point — months ago, I think — they talked about Frida Kahlo.  I asked the girlie where she learned this stuff, and she said there was a book in the class that she’d read.

So there we have it.¡Viva educación! Viva las madres y las artistas mujeres y las madres que son artistas! ¡Y hoy, especialmente, viva México!

As written [with translations as needed]:

Frida Kahlo was one of the first women Artists. When Frida was very young she had to stay in bed becas [because] something was wrong with her leg. When she got beter her brain grew and so did she. One day Frida was rideing the bus when a troly [trolly] was riding in the opisit direcshon! the bus hit the troly and Frida Fell out! Something hapend  to her spine. Quickly pepol [people] rushed to help Frida. the bus driver called Fridas Parents. they too rushed to help Frida. the scooped up Frida and broght her to the hospitel. She needed to stay ther for a while. She will always feel pain, but she will always be a wonderful Artist.

When I read this, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that Frida Kahlo died nearly 60 years ago.  Other than that oversight, this is pretty spot-on. She will always feel pain, but she will always be a wonderful Artist.

* Since I dove feet first into full-time employment (head first? all in?), I have quite obviously been struggling to maintain anything close to a regular blog posting schedule. Weekly will be my ideal, whereas every other daily used to be de rigueur. Two months into the gig, I thought I was hitting my stride, and I began to, work-wise. But it’ll probably take ’til after 90 days are up — they can’t fire me after 90 days, right? — ’til I’ll find enough equilibrium and time to simultaneously work + be a loving, attentive parent/partner (the non-negotiables) + write here (very close to next in line). I do want to say, though, to the two or three folks still checking in (by god I love ya!), and for posterity in general, that writing here has surpassed being valuable and important to me, and become downright therapeutic —  irreversibly so.  I so value the exchange of thought and intent that takes place here, and in all blog communities like this, where kindred spirits sincerely share and help and enlighten. I have received far more than I have given, and genuinely wish I could give more than I have, particularly of late.  The nice thing is, my conviction that blog dialogs are so vital and valuable led me fairly directly to the day job I have now.  I’m hoping I’ll wrangle it into some kind of balance soon enough. Thereafter: a bit more about the job, so’s not to keep it in the dark. And then: back to the miracle of parenting these kids.



14 thoughts on “God bless Mexeco”

  1. It’s very comforting to know that a medical malady has not befallen your family and that you are still parenting forst and foremost–the rest of us will have to be patient and await your wit and wisdom. Stay out of the doldrums and keep eating well and resting; I will await your return with enthusiasm.

    • I would happily parent some kid named “Forst” if need be.


      You know, the occupational hazard of writing about parenting (I sagely opine, six whole years into it) is that you need some exceptional conditions to be able to keep at it unabated. Like, the capacity to not sleep. Or to thrive in spite of little-to-none of it. Or the mythical Sufficient Income emanating from one or one and a half of the parents (that is, if one’s doing the work with another; if one’s solo, it’s the village on the job, and more power to you sisters!). We were in a well-established debt cycle for the critical first 3-4 years of each kid’s life, more or less premeditatedly. It’s every parent’s challenge: day care/ child care costs vs. lost income if one does the day care/ child care oneself. We opted for a mix of both (both of us though mostly me on childcare, + a village of family members to help), and both of us working (kid #1 for two years it was me full-time, though we switched, and then it was overwhelmingly my partner’s income we lived on, oh, and the debt).

      My beloved and I are now no longer stressing as much about making ends meet, which is a blessing, a major blessing. But with us both working more than full time, our main work now is to figure out how to balance work with life. Many, many, many, many, many parents are in this same overcrowded boat with us. And we’re the lucky ones, IN a boat and not bobbing around w/ life preservers (or worse). That balancing very full work with very full family lives is our main challenge makes us phenomenally fortunate, something we note to one another each night when we have our first moment of peace together.

      I keep trying to find a way to force writing back into my now way, way busier life (initially thought I might write on the commute! but no: I work there, too!). I have faith I’ll figure it out. And whenever I do, I will be all the more grateful for kindly, patient folks like you who meander back to pick up the conversational thread where it left off.

  2. Your blog offers so much encouragement, LD. You’re not only a member of a tight-knit family, but also an awe-inspiring parent making it look easy for the rest of us. And despite increased quiet periods in between posts, we’ll still be waiting to learn from your example. Thank you for imparting your wisdom to us.

  3. oh hell yes I’m sticking around, if for no other reason than to see what that little girlie of yours is going to grow into – if she’s like this at six, I’d better start praying for y’all, for when she’s sixteen!

    • Rev, I think you should start praying now. In a profilactic sort of way. 🙂

      And you are very kind, rugbygrrl (and it’s much appreciated!). Had to read your comment more than once to make sure it wasn’t ironic! Hopefully I’m making parenting look as hard as it is (which it is, and it’s humbling) but as rewarding as it can be (which also is, spectacularly so). Sorry that the U.S. Army got to this aphorism first, but it’s truest about parenting (sez me, both a pacifist and one who’s never served in the armed forces): it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love.

      Respecting people as people, and presuming they have more in them than you know or can see — that’s a challenge for probably all of us, to one degree or another. But that’s the main thing we’re trying to do as parents. Some days more successfully than others.

      There are for sure very practical things I lean on. I feel buttressed a lot by my years as a feminist cultural critic & teacher. That occupation entails a lot of reflection about power, and also aiming high, and being patient. I think a lot about power in relation to kids now — how much they feel they don’t have, and what very specific ways they try to wield what they feel they do have. I remember feeling vastly underestimated when I was young myself, so that’s a cardinal sin I won’t commit against others. Years of being a teacher, beginning with lots of one-on-one time as a writing tutor, imparted a patience. You learn that with others, when you ask a question, wait a milisecond, and then answer it yourself, you are snuffing out possibility. When you ask, and genuinely wait, you discover what’s there, which is almost always way more interesting than you thought.

      That and dog companionship (end a training on a good note; set the little buggers up for success and be patient about their short att’n spans; understand that they are seeing the world in their way, which is very very different than how you do, etc.). I think if every would-be parent tried their hand at being a teacher first, ideally a feminist one, and a dog owner, they’d get some useful practice under their belt for when the spit hit the fan.

      Then again, most people’s approach to parenthood is an extension of all the root narratives of their lives. To me, parenting is teaching, midwifery, bearing witness, trying hard not to read one’s own unhealed scars in the movements of one’s kids’ lives. But that derives from my past and present and world view. To others, parenting is about instilling respect for authority, and obedience, and what not.

      I’m just glad to be in conversation with such interesting people here. I do think we all help each other so much, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity.

  4. Such a clever and word-y girl you must have!

    Found this blog while I was doing a bit of research for a client- it can be difficult for me to give advice about identity and acceptance (and seem authentic) when my personal identity happens to fit within what is seen as acceptable by society.

    I’m so glad sites such as yours exist.

  5. I like the description of Frida’s brain growing at school. It is a delight to hear that your future path includes blogging. Your further commentary on all things parental, especially from a nouveau, working-parent perspective is eagerly awaited…..’To the moon and back’, LD: we love you too!

  6. First Happy mothers day to the beloved…. Polly dont worry Baba day will come 😉 three things to mention here:
    a) the lil monkey is getting better at writing and story telling, she’s quite compelling and the ending line as you say is spot on.
    b) As a mexican living in México I gotta say I feel honor because Frida Kahlo is one of the mexican figures known all around and shows what our culture has to offer 🙂
    c) As a mexian living in México, Im still befuddle at how the americans give 5 de mayo so much meaning when in Mexico is an important national date but it is not, im sure you know this but not everyone, our independence day :O is just a date in which we commemorate a battle won against the French army… I gotta say that my little heart was more content on the fact it was Adele birthday 🙂 and I absolutely love her xD
    d) Friday does rule!! if you ever come to Mexico City you definitely have to go to Coyoacan where she lived with Diego Rivera,there’s a museum 🙂 oh and as a fun fact the new $500 bill has Frida and Diego face on it 🙂

  7. Thank you, hermana, for all of the above.

    I was fortunate enough to be at an event on 5 Mayo at which the inimitable Marga Gomez was emcee (!). (It was a fundraiser/ celebration for my all-time favorite org., Our Family Coalition.) At one point early on in the evening, she raised a glass in toast and called out something to the effect of, “And tonight, we also celebrate a random victory of the Méxican army against the French!” To which everyone raised their glasses and called out, “¡Hurra!”

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