Published in LABEL ME LATINA/O, an international e-journal

Me and my tia Party in a sea of primos and tios and tias, circa 1988 or 1989
Photo provided by Tio Felix Navarrete
Last December (2018) I learned about Label Me Latina/o - an academic e-journal that accepts submissions on latino-ness. Amongst the pile of planning for a new family addition, I decided submit. I thought -- WHY NOT? -- my motto since Mrs. Okita's English class at Van Nuys Middle School in the 90's. Shout out to the Mighty Mustangs!

It began like this. I was in bed thinking about baby and my ancestry, when I saw a submission call on social media for this e-journal. I sat there pondering, what or who to write about? What makes me Latinx? And the only person who came to my mind was my Tia Paty.

You see, a few years back I was introduced to her first and only child - my cousin Logan (we are some 20+ years apart, but he's my cousin nonetheless). Logan, the first baby that truly stirred that internal clock in me. Logan was the smallest, cutest, most wonderful little creature I have ever encountered. This was also the time I saw my very hip Aunty Paty transform into a mother. This independent mujer was now going to have someone depending on her. What a life changer! We are only a hand full of years apart, so seeing her become a mom made the whole thing NOT IMPOSSIBLE for me, though I was still on the fence.

Flash foward to last December and there I was beside my husband in bed, with a six month belly - remembering how much I did not want to have children until I saw Aunty Paty with Logan.  I remembered thinking to myself (as I watched my aunty change Logan's diaper) maybe I can do this someday. MAYBE.

So I opened up a document and began writing an essay about my feelings in that moment. I wrote freely, I wrote without restraint and imperfectly; my favorite style of writing. I released subconscious thoughts of what I was feeling in that moment, and in a matter of about four hours I pressed submit and went to bed.

In the new year I was notified that the creative personal non fiction essay was accepted. My piece is up online available for those with curious eyes. Those who may be interested in seeing into a pregnant lady's brain...well, my brain and the thoughts that emerge from it in the middle of the night.

This e-journal is run by Kathryn Quinn-Sánchez of Georgian Court University and Michele Shaul of Queens University of Charlotte. I invite you to check it out here.

I titled the piece "A Busted Window or My Observeation of Luz Moreno, mi Tía Paty" because when I think of Tia Paty, I think about shattered glass and magic.

A special shout out to WOMEN WHO SUBMIT - who re-shared the piece on their website here. Super proud to have found a safe space for a community of womxn writers. Onward, gente.