My mother gave me a kiss after saying goodbye to me. I trampled down the steps and out the door. Grasping a rugged blue bookbag, I dashed to the bus. My black Sambas kicked the ground, and I rushed up the steps of the bus tiredly. “Good morning” Mrs. Patty greeted me.
I always left home in Spanish, and always arrived to school (which my parents also affectionately referred to as “work”) in English. “Inglés es solo para la escuela”, my father would remind me. His concern with speaking English at home and at school was that would I forget my roots. HE would criticize the Hispanics with “faces that were indigenous, but languages that weren’t.” These Hispanics were an example of what my father didn’t want me to become. Don’t get me wrong my family is very open minded with merging with American culture, but the reason they reminded me that Spanish was for at home, and English was for at school, was because Spanish was what defined the relationship between my parents and I as intimate. At school, I constantly - no, always spoke English. Besides that, I also spoke English when I only had to for my “public” image, “public” meaning in front of my father’s “white” friends, or in front of neighbors. My first years of schooling were relatively difficult. I couldn’t ask my parents for help with my homework because I embraces the idea that my “work” (in my parents’ words) shouldn’t be associated with my life at home. I grew insecure speaking Spanish in front of my American friends. Even now, I refuse to speak Spanish in front of my friends. Why? Because I believe that the side of me that speaks Spanish is reserved for the eyes of those un my family. There’s a sense of intimacy with speaking Spanish to my relatives, and I don’t see it as a spectacle that my friends can just ask me to demonstrate as they please
In elementary school, whenever I received honor roll, my mother would go to the assemblies where I received my awards. One f the assemblies in particular will stick with me for as long as I live. I was in the third grade, in Ms. Brown’s class walking back to class. I saw my mom at the ceremony, greeting her with a smile. As I was entering the classroom however, I heard my name.
“DAANNY” My mother was waving at me. She was about to leave. My face flushed scarlet. I couldn’t help; but blush.
Later that afternoon, I told m mom not to talk to me at school. She was visibly offended, thinking that I told her this because I was embarrassed of her. I didn’t intend to hurt her feelings, but the reason I told her not to talk to me at school was because she was yelling to me in Spanish, in front