Race-work, Race-love

Archive for September, 2015|Monthly archive page

Latinx Parents: “When I see you, I see my daughter.”

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2015 at 10:47 am

A #NewYork #DoctoraLatina moment: conversations with Latin(x) parents about their children in college.
It always bugs me out to read theories and reports about Latinx education. One theory being that Latinx college enrollment is low because parents don’t care. It’s especially hard to read that when I encounter Latinx parents who are proud of their children’s educational aspirations and achievements.  
I was writing at Barnes and Noble this morning and the woman who works at the cafe came up to me and said: When I see you, I see my daughter. She always has her laptop and is always reading. Are you in college?

Me: No, I actually just graduated with my doctorate.

Latina parent: Really? Oh, l believe my daughter wants to be a psychiatrist. But she has to finish college first. Then she told me she has to go to medical school. Then after she has to do an internship. So many years..

Me: Yes it is many years but if she is doing what she loves … I say it’s a good thing. 

Latina Parent: I know. I see you and I see her. She has always been a hard worker. I know she is going to make it. And even though I am proud… I miss her. Very much. 

I saw her eyes and nose becoming red and as her eyes welled up I said, And when I see you I see my mother. She also missed me very much. But I returned to her. A came back to NY a college graduate. So will your daughter. 

Latina parent: But why did you go? Why so far?
Me: Because like your daughter I was accepted and wanted to attend a good school to make my family proud. 
We hugged. I told her I would visit her and check in with her. I told her that her daughter will return a different young woman because she would realize the sacrifices her mom made for her. She cried more and I told her that was ok, too. She said, “All for her education, right?”
I said, “Yes. Look at me and see your daughter. You are doing a good job, mom.”