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May 12, 2017

We’Ced Weighs In: Celebrating Mom

(Photo courtesy of Aaliyah Lannerd)

By We’Ced Youth Media

We’Ced asked our youth reporters, coworkers, friends and family members about the special role maternal figures play in their lives. What we found is that no matter if you look like her, came from her or currently live with her, we all have a powerful connection with the women who help raise us and shape us.

Q: Why do we celebrate moms?

“I celebrate my mom because she is one of the most important influences in my life. There are some things in life that can only be taught by your mom and to me that’s unconditional love. She always tells me no matter what i do, she will always love me. That’s something i will always remember and tell my kids in the future. She is my superhero. I celebrate her for being her, my fearlessly beautiful mother who has overcome so many obstacles in her life. I love you mom.”

-Aaliyah Lannerd, 16

(Read more about Aaliyah and her special bond with her mom here)

 

“The reason that I celebrate my mom because she is the one that deserves so much. Though she deserves more than just one day of the year.”

-Gabriela Morales, 17

Photo courtesy of Layla Ornelas.

“I celebrate my mother because not only is she my mother but also the person who made my life possible. My mom raised me all on her own, she raised both me and my sister by herself, always making sure that we have what we need and loves us unconditionally and does her best to show it.”

-Layla Ornelas, 15

Photo courtesy of Nisa Salazar.

“I celebrate my mom for many reasons. She takes care of me and my sisters all year long. Working at the same job my entire life, maintaining the house, and two girls. Her role as a mom got a bit harder when my youngest sister was born in 2009. Our favorite memories are going shopping for school clothes. Since it’s a house full of girls we don’t always get along but we all like makeup and clothes so we make it work.”

-Nisa Salazar, 18

 

“I celebrate my mama because she is one of the sweetest people I know. She also has a tough side which I celebrate. She always stands up for what she believes in and will get in your face if you dare insult her or her people. She is the fiercest of mama bears and I look forward to a time when I have my own daughters to share these valuable lessons with.

Thank you mama!”

-Hannah Esqueda, 26

 

What does motherhood look like to you?

Photo courtesy of Gabriela Morales. 

“Motherhood looks to me [like it] is hard but a mother is that one that is strong because of it being hard. Motherhood also looks nice where she is the one to take care of her family.”

-Gabriela Morales, 17

 

“Motherhood looks like to me as caring, loving, responsibility. A lot of willpower to do things that are not in your daily routine. It’s like a 24/7, seven-days-out-of-the-week job. It’s not just like, “Oh, celebrate mother’s day on just that day” — mother’s day, it’s forever. It doesn’t end.”

-Sandra Grande, 43

 

Who’s the strongest maternal figure you have in you life?

Photo courtesy of Maria Dominguez. 

“The strongest maternal figure I have in my life is my mom because she is like my mom and dad at the same time. My mom takes care of me and educates me to become a better person and accomplish my dreams.”

-Maria Dominguez, 16

Photo courtesy of Hannah Esqueda.

The older I get the more I appreciate just how unique the connection is between a mother and daughter. Only my mama can make me feel like the most beloved person in the world, a feeling that I’ve clung on to and cherished at some of the toughest moments of my life.

My mama is also the person who taught me to be unafraid of showing affection for those you love and helped me realize how important it is to build people up rather than tear them down.”

-Hannah Esqueda, 26

 

“The strongest maternal figure I have is both my mom and my sister. The are strong people that i wish to be.”

-Gabriela Morales, 17

 

Bonus: Our colleague from Long Beach interviewed her own mother on the decision to adopt a young relative a few years after her adult children had moved away from home. Below, Crystal Niebla of VoiceWaves speaks with her mom, Sandra Grande, on the second-half of her journey through motherhood.

Crystal Niebla:  What made you want to become a mother again?

Sandra Grande: “It’s not something that I had planned. Given the situation that Anthony was in, I felt that I had to take initiative. You know, what happened to him: his mom lost it, and what she did to him. So, I felt that I couldn’t turn my back on the situation. The detectives asked me if I was interested [in] becoming a foster parent, and I said, “Sure. Whatever it takes for me to get Anthony back.” And then it took like three months for me to get him with me.

After three months–they did a lot of assessments, home assessments, fingerprinting and stuff–the day came that they said that Anthony is coming to live with you; I was like, “Ah, wow!” Then it dawned on me: I’m going to be a mother again.”

Sandra Grande and her son Anthony. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

“It was hard in the beginning, but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Given the situation he was in with his mom, I don’t know the trauma he was going through, what kind of neglect his mom put him through; he was a little boy.

Starting from being without having kids [at home] for [four to five] years, and then having a 5-year-old at home–it’s hard, but it’s rewarding.

Now that I see that [Anthony] has made significant improvement with his speech, with his language, with the way he interacts with other people–you can see the significant change in him, and that’s rewarding for me. That was what I expected.

He’s healthy, he’s happy, and I see that he loves me, and I love him. We became attached now, so I feel like I can’t live without him, and I think he can’t live without me.”



About the Author

Hannah Esqueda
A lifelong resident of the Central Valley, Hannah has spent the last three years covering news in and around the Fresno area. She has a degree in Journalism from Washington and Lee University, and was a 2016 participant in the USC Annenberg Health Journalism Fellowship. Currently, she serves as We'Ced's Beat Reporter.




 
 

 

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