Being a mother has been the greatest honor and most difficult challenge in my life. To be able to receive, create, grow, sustain and give birth to life is as close to the divine as a human being can come. I realize that as a woman I am sacred space. All women are, regardless of their choice or ability to have children. Our ancestors understood this, and I continue to re-acquaint myself with this truth as I grow older. My love and connection with my own mother, grandmothers, daughters and now granddaughter grows each day. The first time I held Isabella Luna Scott, a future ancestor, my world expanded into the infinite. I felt an immense pull of invisible ties bind me to the blood of all the families that flow in her. I evolved the day I became an Abuelita.
My Abuelita and my Nana loved and adored each of their grandchildren. They were the anchors of my childhood and my first teachers. My Abuelita, on my mother’s side, lived close to us in San Diego. She insisted I speak Spanish to her, held me when I was in tears, gave me piggy back rides, and marveled at my attempts at cooking. My Nana had fifty grandchildren, yet managed to make each of us feel like we were her absolute favorite. She would welcome us with hugs and lovingly burnt tortillas and burnt cookies on our visits to her home in Fresno. My Nana would always take walks with us and talk about the different fruit trees, show us how to kill and skin a rabbit for dinner, and how to use medicine of the earth to heal aches and pains. Their love was patient, kind and always focused fully on their grandchildren.
When I became a mother, my parents became Abuelos. When my eldest, Camerina, was born, my father became Tata, my mom became Ama, my stepmom became Nana, and my Tía became Di. Along with their new names, they established new roles. I didn’t fully recognize the way they immersed themselves in loving my daughters. This love was different than what I experienced as their child. Emilia followed 15 months after her older sister. They were constant partners who flourished in the love and attention showered upon them by their grandparents. Just as my Abuela and Nana were my first and most loving teachers, their grandparents were theirs. They experienced countless trips to different cities and countries, they camped outdoors, fished, made snowmen, went to concerts, got bored at Padres baseball games, and discovered the world holding the hand of one or more grandparent. When I married Daniel, they gained two more grandparents in Austin, Texas. My In-Laws became known as Grandpa and Abuela. Sophia, our youngest, entered this world with six grandparents waiting.
When I was 42 years old, Emilia gave birth to Luna, and I became a grandmother. I understood the change I saw in my parents. Luna is the most intelligent, loving, pure and amazing human being that has ever walked this earth…since the beginning of time. She is the moon that moves the tides of the ocean and provides light for me as the sun’s rays focus elsewhere. She is the air I breathe, the water I drink, the food I eat, she is all I need to survive. The greatest love of my life, my soulmate, my reason for being, my granddaughter/future ancestor is my recompensa. She is reward for any good that I have done in this life (and any other lives I may have lived).
Yes, I realize I’m being dramatic, but this is the love of a grandparent.
With her birth, a primal obligation was born within me that demands she receive every opportunity to explore and exhibit her brilliance. At home, I have a work area set up as a sewing, drawing, and writing studio. I have an entire space dedicated to Luna’s creative development. She will pull up a chair opposite of where I sit, and we draw together, solve puzzles, blow bubbles, read, and sometimes look at pictures of fish. When she wants my attention, I stop what I am doing to meet her needs. Her development and growth are the main focus of my existence, and I am constantly filled with awe and wonder as I marvel at her intelligence and potential.
A Grandparent is the most loving, patient, encouraging, and demanding teacher that children can have. On this day, we honor and celebrate the important role of Abuelos. I hope that you can take some time and consider the impact your grandparents had on your life and well-being or to think about who you will be as a future grandparent. I also offer you the opportunity to share a story about your abuela, abuelo, or grandchild/grandchildren in the comment section below.
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