When I was a young mother and I was rearing the three strong characters who are my children, I never realized that I was helping to push forth a lot of the wisdom of my family and Puerto Rican culture that in part nurtured me. I say in part, because unlike many of my cousins I was raised primarily in boarding schools. Still Puerto Rican culture stuck to me along with the religious who helped raise me. In all there is a hodgepodge of cultural and personal knowledge which influenced me and now my children.
What I can say now is that I lived my life in too much of a daze because like many women left to rear their children on their own, I had no clue as to what to do, when to do it, or even question whether or not I had the current views on child rearing available to me. As things stood, my children and I sort of survived the process. Two of the three are kind and understanding of the person I was and am. For this, I am grateful, for I can move on without the eternal mental double checking I had previously engaged in. What time wasting that rethinking everything from the past. Now I know--it's over. Let me move on.
I do want to find my middle child and give her two gifts. As a child she cut the hair off of her beloved Carol doll. In my younger days, I used nail polish remover to remove the "lipstick" of my baby doll. I guess my middlin child and I share a desire to perfect things we care about. This trait comes directly from my Mama.
Aside from doll issues, I find myself thinking that the future for our children is really up for grabs. The brand of capitalism I grew up with was kinder. Today everything is cut throat and bottom-line oriented. The idea that we are a country of citizens who should care about one another as brothers and sisters is an alien idea to too many. If we do not recover our sense of unity and stop fear mongering, our little bit of heaven which I call the USA will be destroyed.
I believe that the simplicity of living in my grandparents' time though without the comforts of running water, electricity, or gas forced people to work together and thus value what each person contributed to the enterprise of not only surviving but getting ahead. My grandparents built up their homes, farms, and contributed to their towns. In their time they were well loved and respected. I couldn't ask for more myself. So I keep their pictures on my night stand as silent reminders of where I come from and what is possible in my life even in this late stage of my life.