Julián. I purposely chose a name for my kid that has an accent when you spell it in Spanish. That “á” represents the most precious thing I’m giving my child: my culture. Even before I got pregnant with little J I knew I would raise my kids bicultural, sharing with them the richness of my culture and the beautiful sounds of my language.
If you haven’t noticed, I am very proud of being Latina; I try to embrace my heritage in every way possible, celebrating each part of what makes me who I am. I came to this country at a young age; my mother re married and my step-dad had lived most of his life in the U.S. so we all came along. I was suddenly the “other”, lost in a new country and embracing my culture made me feel closer to home. Don’t get me wrong, I love this country! It has given us so much! We have had so many opportunities here and a great life that we would have not be able to have in my homeland.
However, loving this country does not mean I have to stop being who I am and forget where I come from, and it took some time to understand this. Growing up Latino in this country is not always easy, I faced discrimination and racism and so many times I just wanted to be like everyone else and fit in. Now that I have Julián I want him to learn to love and embrace our culture as much as I do. I want him to grow up celebrating Christmas as well as the Día de los Reyes Magos, help me set up an altar on Dia de los Muertos, be able to switch between English and Spanish easily, (sometimes even mix both), to eat dinner with tortillas, to know his history… but most importantly, to ENJOY and LOVE doing these things. I want him to be proud of who he is, both American and Mexican.
I know this adds a little more work to raise him and that it would not be easy. But I’m ready to do it, knowing that he might choose not to follow my philosophy and it will be OKAY if he doesn’t. After all, that is also why I chose his name, because it sounds good in both Spanish AND English! ;)