“It’s not my fault my grades are bad. All my teachers are racist.” And his mom believed him. He was her little boy, her darling. He wouldn’t lie. And don’t try to tell her that sometimes parents who truly love their children can be their own child’s worst enemy. She had to learn from experience.
Maria had a large woven woolen bag that had Guatemala embroidered on it. I asked her if she was Guatemalan and she said, “I’m half Guatemalan and half Mexican.”
Remembering my own childhood being half Irish and half Italian and the crazy family arguments that condition seemed to generate I had to ask, “Does that ever cause any family arguments like, ‘The Mexican way is better,’ ‘No, the Guatemalan way is better,’ and things like that?”
Maria rolled her eyes, laughed and said, “All the time!”
I told her, “Yeah in my family too! All my dad’s Italian sisters married Irishmen (except for Aunt Teresa who married my Polish uncle Bob because he was such a sweetie) and it seemed like at every family gathering there was at least some debate about the merits of each family ethnicity.” I learned early on that these debates could get quite heated (loud) and acrimonious but I had no idea how far reaching this divide could be until my dad threw it on the police!