Posts tagged "family"
Men at Work at Home

Men at Work at Home

Today’s stay-at-home dads have little in common with Mr. Mom. Responsible, nurturing, and home by choice, they are eager to prove that—aside from the breastfeeding—they can do whatever a woman can.

A Half-Sentence

A Half-Sentence

A note inscribed in the margin of an ancient book connected me, across an ocean and a century, to a fateful decision.

May Is the Cruelest Month

May Is the Cruelest Month

May in Los Angeles is breathtaking. I know this because it’s all people talk about when the city explodes in Technicolor and flowers rip open. Everything is lush and living, or so they say. I live in Los Angeles too, but I don’t see it the same way. Not anymore. The sunshine is harsh. The colors unkind.

When I walk to the corner liquor store with my sunglasses on and hoodie pulled up, hoping to be left alone, neighbors still yell out, “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?” I smile politely, nod. Always polite.

I stood on this same street four years ago, a few days before Mother’s Day. It was early in the morning, around 3 a.m., and I was on the phone with a steely 911 operator, wondering why she was being so cold to me. I realize now it was probably better that way, but in those moments I hated her. I remember saying, “This doesn’t feel real. This feels like a movie. Is this real?” There was silence on the other end of the line.

Losing Mama

Losing Mama

At the height of my teenage apathy, my mom made me squeal with delight by smuggling a kitten into our home in a cardboard box she’d found at work. She burst into my bedroom excitedly and shoved the box toward me. When I saw its tiny, grey nose and bright, yellow eyes, I fell in love just like my mom.

My dad, however, had a strict "no pets" policy. Caring for a cat would cost too much money, he said. He and my mom already struggled to afford food. For days, my parents fought over the kitten while I held out hope I could have this one little, good thing in a house that all too often felt devoid of good things.

Power Failure

Power Failure

Lately, as a result of planning my wedding, there’s been a lot of talk among my buddies about what drives the expensive social conservatism we see during our various social and religious ceremonies in India. There is, of course, the cash-flashing, wealth-waving syndrome that leads to obscene shows of buying power, and the media-spurred my-fairy-tale-wedding delusion, but what spurs people with sensible plans and ideological commitments to chuck it all and take a nosedive into these pro forma spectacles of self-destructive wastage?

Deferred Dreams from My Father

Deferred Dreams from My Father

Like many children of immigrant parents, I was told story upon story that began, “When I came to this country…” But certain details of my father’s journey weren’t shared until I was twenty-six. Even after all these years, the story of how he emigrated from Mexico isn’t one my father likes to tell. He came from a generation where one’s citizenship status was something not to be discussed. I only learned of the specifics because I poked and prodded until he finally gave in, saying, “Tell my story when I’m dead.”

The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Empathy Becomes Real)

The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Empathy Becomes Real)

As I wandered around a local craft festival last November, my mind was on my seven-month-old niece. I wanted to give her a Christmas gift that was thoughtful, soft, and sweet. When I’d almost given up hope, I spotted a small stand outfitted with handmade stuffed animals that, upon further inspection, were all velveteen. I picked out a gray rabbit with long, floppy ears. I envisioned the little girl snuggling up to her new sleeping companion, a subtle yet constant reminder of her loving aunt. Unfortunately, this idyllic picture would not come to pass. A few weeks after I bought the bunny, I got a phone call from my brother that irrevocably changed our relationship.

One Piece at a Time

One Piece at a Time

Stitching the past together.