We need more (half) latina leaders!
Now that I started blogging, I can’t stop. It’s a muscle that has atrophied and I’m exercising it, like I should be the rest of my muscles.
Moonshine’s school counselor recommended her for a leadership conference at the end of the school year. Out of all the kids at her school, they recommended two students from the school who were going to be seniors and one of them was Moonshine. It is a really nice honor that they thought of her. She went online to apply and she realized it’s for latina/o students. Da Fuh?, she said. See, Moonshine is half Hispanic, but not the part she identifies with.
She’s always felt like she didn’t really fit in. She’s the darkest of my three, but she’s not Spanish enough to hang out with the Hispanic girls, and she’s not white enough to pass for a Barbie. She’s always felt like she’s in the middle and she forges her own path. When Sunshine was getting ready for college I was invited to go to a Hispanic league scholarship meeting. They were horrified that I was going. Look, I’m all you’ve got and I need to know what’s out there in the way of paying for college. If you get more scholarships being Hispanic, you’ll be Hispanic. If the school you want to go to needs more Caucasian students, I’ll change your name to Buffy. Sorry, that was pretty stereotypical, but you know what I’m saying. When it comes to college, I’ll help you pay for it however you can.
Something to know about Moonshine, she’s the most head strong of my three. She is the most like me when I was growing up. She’s my punishment. She’s the one I’ve had the most trouble with so far and she disagrees with everything I say. She came home from work one day and said the General Manager told someone Moonshine has a problem with authority. I thought about it for half a second and said, Oh yeah, you really do. Because she really does. And not in a disrespectful way, but she questions things and wants to know why she’s doing something. She has a very strong opinion on things, but she’s very intelligent and her points are well-thought out. On more than one occasion I’ve given up because I don’t have the strength to fight with her.
A couple of weeks ago, Moonshine came to me and said she’s not going to the leadership conference. She needs the hours at work so she can be “financially stable” by mid-July. Are you moving out?, I asked. What does “financially stable” mean. Yeah, I’d like to be “financially stable” sometime in my lifetime, but it’s not mid-July. And you’re going to the conference. However, you have to be more strategic with Moonshine. If you tell her she’s doing something, she digs her heels in and it’s a fight. You can get your 17 year old to do whatever you want? Good for you. What I told her is I would be very disappointed if you didn’t go, it will be a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, and I really think you should go. What was going to happen if she didn’t go is I was taking her phone for the rest of the summer, but once I got her to decide on her own that it would be a great opportunity, she got excited. She was still super nervous and I had to kind of drag her today, but every time I’ve “forced” them to do something, they always come back and thanked me for making them do it. From Sunshine’s journalism camp to every girls function at church, they always are glad I encouraged it.
Let’s just hope I can keep my streak alive.