Your mom, before dad.

Growing up Mexican.

syllables around Jan ’14 by mama

Hi kids, it’s your mom here. While dad was growing up all white boy (güero, pronounced ‘way-doe’ meaning white boy), I grew up brown. Mexican. I’m from the Trevino clan and grew up with lots and lots of people in and around the house – tio’s, tea’s, chonies, chanklas, and güero’s.

We came up from Mexico, and were likely in Texas when it was Mexico. Go back further and we come from Spain.

Your mom’s heritage is pretty solid Latin with deep roots in San Antonio down to Brownsville and into Mexico. I was born in San Antonio. My mom, Grandma Yvonne, worked hard as a single mother at sixteen and I also spent a lot of time with Grandma Rose whom I also called mom.

My Uncles Ern and David were more like brothers.  I love them deeply and have always had respect for them being such a part of my upbringing –  Even when they would track me down at parties in my teenage years and storm in with all their San Antonio Police Department uniforms to take me home.

I was raised by the women of the family. Large authentic Mexican food meals. Homemade tamales. Always lots of food.

We were Catholic, kinda opposite your dad in Christianity (he was Protestant). Look it up. It’s weird.

I grew up with a candle always burning in the hall at all times and that freaky Jesus picture that looks like his eyes are closed, then they’re open and following you. It still burns in my memory. It’s in your closet now. Right now.

I didn’t go to church much.  But, the family had a thick respect for religion in our house.

My mom and dad split before I was even born for reasons that are between them.  Or something like that.

I grew up with my mom and have always had a really tight relationship with her.  I never questioned her about her relationship with my dad or who he was, because to me it was clear… he was not with me.  All I have ever seen her do was work really hard to support us.  I felt that if I asked anything about him, it would add more to her struggles and I couldn’t handle that, even at an early age.  She was the coolest thing I knew and I loved being with her.  As a young kid, she was all I needed so I didn’t think about it too much.

As I got older I wondered more and more about my dad.  I never told my mom how much I thought about what happened and why he wasn’t a part of my life.

I started to see my mom have to put up with more shit in life with a step dad that made life very hard for us and sometimes dangerous.   I got really mad that she had to live this way.  I respected everything she did and did everything I was ever told. I didn’t break rules too much and if I did I felt terribly guilty and tried to be a good kid since our life was already complicated.

I dreamed about this mystery dad out there and had no clue about who he was or what he looked like.  I felt like maybe he didn’t want me.  And I was a good kid!  I grew up sad many times throughout my childhood about this.  Sometimes I got really angry that I had to think this. I couldn’t ever make sense of this so I felt insecure about not having a dad in my life, and I really wanted one.

I went through school as an average kid.  I had cool friends.  I didn’t really party because I didn’t want to bring home any extra problems for my already hard working mom.

I fought with my step dad a lot and didn’t like most of what he was like.  Though, there were some very redeeming things I learned from him, I wouldn’t appreciate those till I was older.  I took the bus home from school all the time and if my mom wasn’t around, I hated getting off. I spent a lot of time in theatre and was really good at it.

It was around high school that I started to get really pissed off at always being a good kid and not allowing myself to have any fun for fear it would be extra.  So, that’s when I started to do things for myself.

I skipped school and went to the lake with my girlfriends.  I dated jerks.  I rode around in a stolen car with a boyfriend.  That guy ended up getting caught and going to jail that night.

I was good at not getting caught on any of this too.  If my mom knew, she was probably cutting me some slack.

I was on the pep squad, went to football games, and smoked a little pot here and there.  It was the 80’s and I had big hair, loved music, and danced in my room all the time.  I actually dated the high school quarterback briefly who was a big deal at the time.  He really liked me a lot, but after spending time with him and his all American family, I felt like I couldn’t relate.  So, I let him down.  I hated that.

I stayed in school over the next couple of years and got fed up with it.  There was not a lot I could relate to at all during this time.

I started to live, though secretly, I was more interested in everything else.

I wanted to get a job so that I could have money to do more stuff.  So, I talked to my mom and told her that I wanted to quit school in my junior year and go to work instead.  She was cool with that as long as I didn’t party and actually went to work.  That’s the grandmother you get The Doors music from on your birthday.

And I did work.  I worked my ass off.  I worked seven days a week ten hours a day everyday.  And loved it.  I made money, gave some back to my parents, and supported myself.  Then I met a man.  Not your dad.

He came into the restaurant I was working in with his blonde highlights and beautiful face.  Since I was the hostess, I got to talk to him first.  All the waitresses were motioning me to seat him at their tables.  I took him to his table and stalked him while he was eating.  Long story short, we started dating.

We dated intensely that year and had a great time together.  He treated me great and showed his love for me a lot.  I allowed myself to fall in love with him deeply.  He was perfect, beautiful, and he had a boat.

He really wanted me to move up to Austin with him, but I just couldn’t.  I wanted to be with him, but for whatever reason I didn’t allow  myself.

Later in the relationship, he would take me out on my lunch break and tell me he had been unfaithful.  Broken.  I was so completely sad and hurt by this, I can still feel it deep down all these years later.

He was also so broken and hurt about it too.  We both were. That was the first time I realized the difference between dating a boy and dating a man.  And I believe that’s when I became a young woman.

I learned that dating a man was more meaningful and life changing.  He was a man.  He taught me great things.  We tried to move forward, but it was too broken.  And we were both really sad about that.  But, I’m grateful for him and the things he showed me in love.

Because he made me the young woman, that only one month later, your dad would take out.