Race-work, Race-love

Archive for July, 2014|Monthly archive page

To My Tayta, with Love.

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2014 at 5:21 pm



Tayta – Quichua word for “Father” – I wrote this about my father a couple of years ago and I refer back to this post on Father’s Day and my dad’s birthday.

While I don’t tend to read “lists” or “rules” this particular list attracted my attention. The rules were written from a father reflecting on how he raised his daughter (you can read the post here). When I read these rules, I kept thinking how true some of these are about my SuperDaddy. While my father taught me more than I could ever fit into a list, these particularly stand out for me. I am who I am because of Miguel Vega and everyone in my neighborhood knows it….So here are just a few of the rules that stand out:

When I used to live with my dad, I heard him pray every morning for each of his daughters. He believes that this protects us and I have come to respect the power of intention, meditation, and prayer. I don’t know if anyone will pray over me as much as he does – so for me, he is like an angel right here on Earth: “5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.” Even now, it feels good to know that someone is wishing me well. Every morning. Without fail.

My father taught me to add, subtract, multiply, and divide before I started kindergarten. He would test my math skills by taking me to the grocery store and have me compete with the cashier’s calculator. He would look at me, look at the person handling the cashier and say “I bet you my daughter can calculate the grocery list quicker than your calculator.” – 22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.”

Unfortunately, we also had terrible arguments. But maybe that was a test, too. If I can argue with him, I can argue with anyone. And today I enjoy a good debate. HAHAHA!

We didn’t always get gifts. But my father took me to a magical vacation at least once month called Columbia University. This was, in fact, the only trip we could really afford at that time. I learned so much from these trips. One the one hand, I learned to appreciate trips that don’t require any money. And on the other hand I learned how to dream. “Mija. If you work hard, one day you can come here to study, too. I work with my hands so that one day you can work with your mind.” – “41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.”

His dream for me (and for him) is to see me graduate from Columbia University one day. Perhaps, prayer and dreams do come true…

Happy Birthday to the best Tayta in the whole world.















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