Tuesday, November 20, 2012

@ de nosotros

This blog is about a home-schooled Mama, an immigrant Papa and our home-birthed brood.  It's about the way we as a bi-cultural, bilingual, blended family of six (three varying shades of blondes and three degrees of brunettes) engage with the world around us. This blog is about how the six of us live as human beings and as equals, seeking to balance the wants and needs of the diverse and complex members of this little family.  It's 1 Corinthians 12 (the body as a metaphor for spiritual gifts working together as a whole) meets 1 Corinthians chapter 13 (love is patient, love is kind). 

The idea of Mamá Gallina comes from a traditional Latin American folk tale.   Mother hen hovers over her chicks and keeps them safe and warm.  She is not as pushy as the back-stage mom or the helicopter parent, but she is similarly fueled by oxytocin, the love hormone.  This mama makes sure her babies have what they need to survive and thrive, even if it means missing a night's sleep once in a while.

Mamá Cuervo is a ferocious mother figure who also comes from a Latin American folk tale. She is the mother crow who has lost her baby.  She asks everyone, "Have you seen my baby?  He is tall, and dark, and handsome." No one in the entire forest has seen him.  She finally asks owl, who says, "That scruffy, scrawny, grey pile of feathers that has been squawking all day?" Yep, that's him.  Mamá Cuervo is fueled by the mother bear hormone.  She will drink any bizarre herbal concoction that the midwife suggests in order to try to keep the baby on the inside for the full 9 months.  She will wait in line for the last parts to a hospital-grade breast pump so she can ship more milk home from the office.  She sits up nights emailing the teacher and the principal and the school counselor about how to solve the school bullying problem.  

This blog is written by me, Mamá Gallina ~ Mamá Cuervo.  But it is a blog about my family.  I made it though a public university and a private liberal grad school with no interest in feminism. When I shook the Dean's hand while crossing the stage at Columbia, he asked what I planned to do with my Ph.D. "I am a mother," I responded, which was obvious anyway from my big belly under my robe. "You are doing everything right," he replied. 

 I will not detail my own journey to liberation.  No bras were burned. Obviously, no abortions were performed, as the rainbow tribe attests to my pro-life stance. In the months and years that followed, as the daily rumination that accompanied the dishes, diapers and laundry moved out of the Iberian Middle Ages and into my small town Indiana circumstances, I saw that equality was not something to silently wish for. Equality is something women have when we choose to claim it, demand it, and use it. I expect love and equality for myself, for my husband, for my mom, my dad, my siblings, and for my sons and daughters. 

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