StudentC, 10th - Oakland, CA
Peaking my small head through the crack in the door I see my mom. Bright blue top, frills surrounding the bottom, legs tightly crossed as she stares at the page beneath her. My mother came from silent whispers and quiet homes, with a mother that passed away while bringing her into this world and a father who did the same soon after. Of foster homes and family members who made her feel less, who shut doors in her face and pushed her away. And yet you would never know that by looking at my mom, she speaks with words of kindness and love, full of nurture.
She stays late nights staring at books trying to learn them for others, and though she doesn't quite understand them all, language barrier and all, she still learns them for others. “You have to go to school” signs my mother. And even though annoyance creeps up my neck, and I want to tell her no, I don't. Because I know why she wants me to go. I needed to go because she couldn't. I need to go for her.
When I ask my mother what she wants, she stumbles on her words, confusion plastered on her face. Because when has she been asked that, when has her feelings been considered. How could they be considered when my mom feeds others before she eats, she lays down others before she can find rest, she puts the mask on other people before herself. She gives.
I stumble closely out of the door, hands by my side quiet as a mouse. Trying not to make a sound while I was walking slowly down the hall towards my mom, “Dihan di ki?” (Are you okay?) My mom sighs.
I trott up to her leg and looked up at her. Stress plastered across her face as she looked back down at me. Then I turn my head down to her paper and see questions upon questions. Presidents, dates, I didn't understand it then but I now know it was for her citizenship so she could stay here with me. I understood these questions! I knew what they meant, I could help her. My mom. I tilt my head and I tell her the answer. She smiles at me in the softest way.
I think back to this moment often, sunlight through the blinds and her smiles. I remember how it felt, to help her, this strong woman, my role model. This woman who led me to be me. Who created and raised me the best way she could, even though she didn't have anyone to teach her how. Her essence is euphoric, to be around her, my mother saved me. In every way someone could be saved.
Students 6th-12th Grades