I AM Family

The rock in my family.

Motherhood opens up all kinds of new feelings; for me it’s an immense, profound love and hope that conquers the fear of truly loving, feelings of being overwhelmed, insecurity about the future and feelings of pain from a past that I cannot escape. I am an open book of pure love and emotions for better or worse.  I have become an award-winning actress in front of my children so they can’t see some of the struggles that I may be going through.

Struggles come and go– at some point we all face death, illness, maybe loss of financial security, abuse or something that just rocks our world to a point that we can’t see the way out.

The question is how do we deal with it? The difference between survival and death, really living the life we were meant to live or just going in circles.

Through the love of my family, when my world had been rocked, when past emotions come back to haunt me– I  find my light, slowly but surely captivating the essence of who I am and want to be for me and my family.

I am so aware that even though I try and put on the best happy show that life is wonderful, my children know when things aren’t perfect and I have come to terms that it’s okay. I am aware that how I choose to tackle life’s unexpected challenges will affect my family. If I fall apart, their world falls apart. We set the example for our children on how to face life, conquer fears, and how to love one another.

This week I was extremely challenged with an incident that happened in my daughter’s school. She is attending a new school and the teacher let more than two students use the restroom. Once my 6-year-old finished using the restroom, she told the other two girls, “Come on, girls, we don’t want to get in trouble for taking too long.”

My daughter was encountered by a bully, squeezing her arm and saying, “Stupid girl, if you tell I will hurt you.”

When my daughter shared her experience with me before bedtime, I didn’t know how to respond. I stayed quiet and asked, “How do you feel?”

“Mommy, we don’t treat friends like that. Why did they do that? Please tell the teacher.” I held her tight, and said, “Mommy will talk to your teacher tomorrow.”

I didn’t sleep and cried, cried out of frustration, realizing that these things do happen sometimes but I didn’t expect it at 6 years of age!!!! My sweet daughter that has been brought up in such a loving and warm enviroment. I kept picturing her face and how she must have felt in that bathroom.

The following morning I was sheltering my daughter with more love, trying to make her feel better, “special treats”, but I wasn’t helping her to cope; she was emotional, feeling emotions that I was feeling. I was all over the place!

Once I got myself together and spoke to some family members, I had “THE TALK” with my daughter, giving her life tools to deal with the bullies, to deal with the people that might not be as nice, as respectful as she is, and to make sure she knew that what happened to her was unacceptable behavior. Luckily, we have an amazing principal that, once she was aware of the situation, met with my daughter and confirmed, “that’s unacceptable behavior.”

We are so connected to our children, our family, that we as mothers in many ways hold the household together.  They are so aware and I have learned that my actions in life will have an immense impact on who my children are and who they will become…

A few days later, I asked her, “How was school?”

She replied, “Great, Mommy — don’t worry, I am okay”.

Marta Calero


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