Cold is here and scarf
two thousand seven hundred
ninety four miles far
There are a ton of milestones happening in the Mala household.
Last weekend, 14 year old Mapu asked for my help in putting blue/green streaks in her hair, which meant with her dark, thick hair, a two step process involving bleach. Some parents and teens may find it strange we went in on this together and that Mapu came to me for help with something most parents find out about AFTER the fact. But luckily for both of us, we have an open enough relationship that she knew it was something I was willing to do with her. After all, when she was in elementary school I was the ever present PTA mami volunteering at school events, creating a translation program for non-English dominant families, and chaperoning school trips with a variety of hair colors: hot pink, fire engine red and varieties in between. The combo of my style and mouth even caused the school principal to advise my daughter, in front of me, to not end up like me when she grew up. I’m kind of proud that she is rebelling a little.
Two days ago my five year old walked into our bedroom with her fingers in her mouth. She was showing off the fact that has not just one but two loose front teeth. She yelled, jumped up and down and promptly started rattling off the impact this had in her life. According to Poroto she was growing up and the tooth fairy would come. This was a sign that 5 years old was getting closer to 14 years old and eventual adulthood and,
“I can then do whatever I want!”
I won’t front. I teared up a little, not just because yes, it was one step in growing up but also because I wished it was as easy as she made it sound.
Apologies for taking so long away from my true casita, a space where I blogged for years before I was “buzzworthy” and appearing on talk shows.
As Summer kicks off, I am reminded that as radical single mami media maker being called buzzworthy doesn’t pay my bills, won’t get me to an hermana’s wedding across the country, and doesn’t always make me feel safe. With iron bars secured on the windows of Casa Mala, feeling safe doesn’t trump my burning desire to speak/write out what I live and see in my comunidad. This is what I love and I really believe, even at 33 years old that I am not too old to be somewhat of an idealist and love what I do, love that my work includes mami’ing two amazing ChileRicans, maintaining VivirLatino out of pocket, working with young people, playing with palabras and doing what I can, yes to change this mundo I was born into.
Pero I need help. It’s humbling to admit this, that I am struggling to pay rent, pay my utilities, my metrocard, feed my children and myself while engaged in this hustle called vida. Pero my requests are humble as well.
Through the graciousness of two organizations, I will be attending both the Allied Media Conference this week and Netroots Nation next month. For the Allied Media Conference, I have been reminded of the power of the grassroots and have airfare, housing, and even food taken care of. I still need help for Netroots though.
Democracy For America gave me a scholarship to attend Netroots Nations next month in Las Vegas and are covering my hotel and my conference registration. What they do not cover is airfare, food, or the money I will need to spend on childcare for the weekdays I am away. For those that don’t know, I do all I do while taking care full time of my two hijas, one who is three and is home with me 24/7 (except for when her dad takes her, for a few hours three days a week).
So that is what I am asking for help with.
A trip from NYC to Vegas for Netroots towards the end of July costs about $450
Childcare is about $50
I also would like to eat while at Netroots.
If you have airline miles to donate please let me know (I’m not even sure how that works).
Donations can be sent to my paypal account.
Yesterday was the 40th Anniversary celebration of the Young Lords Party here in NYC. As amiga Bianca wrote, some peeps, myself included, couldn’t be there. It really bummed me out that I couldn’t be there because if it weren’t for the Young Lords, Mamita Mala wouldn’t exist. And I don’t mean that in some abstract homage to movement forepapis and foremamis kind of way. I mean it in a real physical, tangible way.
I have a worn out black tee shirt from when Iris Morales was still finishing her film, Pa’lante Siempre Pa’lante and the quote on the back says something about each generation moving the struggle forward and I was fortunate enough to see this in action even after there was no more YLP thanks to federally sponsored flame fanning of normal internal organizational conflicts.
I wasn’t even alive when the YLP was formed pero when I was just a teenager myself, their legacy and lesson marked me forever and opened the path on which I walk.
It looks like Navidad will be seriously trimmed down compared to last year. Since el Chileno and I broke up, it seems odd to invite his friends and family to a themed Christmas eve dinner like I did last year (funny so many of the poet/artists friends of his and allegedly of mine haven’t said one word to me about the breakup, neither has his family- so much for artistic solidarity or Christian caring).
I never worry about my chicas getting gifts, since my familia more than takes care of them.
I feel like I am too old to ask for presents and I never expect anything anyway, and not in a bad way pero if I were to sit on Santa’s lap (que fresca) and ask for regalos, I would have the real list and the fantasy list.
Real Things I Want for Navidad
- A new lease for the apartment
- The ceiling fixed in the bedroom
- money to help pay for rent and food and bills
- trader joe’s gift cards
- a babysitter
Fantasy Things I Want for Navidad
- An Iphone
- A digital camera (you all will benefit from the half-nekkid pictures)
- plane tickets
- a new laptap
- a new vibrator (I am single again after all)
- family memberships to museums for the chicas and I
Por favor be excusing the time since my last post. I went to beantown to label myself a puta in front of Latino college students, el chileno moved out, and I am navigating single mami’hood with a present baby daddy (it’s so much easier when they are in another country, ja ja).
So if I complained about having no breaks before…..imaginate.