Monthly Archives: June 2016

Does Size Matter?

Something doesn’t sit right with me, and here it is. I have heard numerous times how one has to dream “big” in order to achieve something, or become something, or change something. You know the old adage: Dream big or go home. I’ve come across some other sayings such as: If your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough. Say what? Listen, I’ve got plenty of dreams, okay? Your dreams may not be my dreams, and I can guarantee that my dreams are not your dreams! But a dream is a dream is a dream. I just don’t buy the line, hook and sinker that screams your dream doesn’t count or isn’t as important if it isn’t “big”! No sir! No ma’am!

Think what you will, but you can’t look down on my dream and say that yours is more important than mine. Or that my dream doesn’t count because it isn’t as”big.” Who are you to downplay my dream? Have you walked in my shoes?

When I wrote, “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace” I not only mention some of the heartaches I endured as a child and young adult, but I also mention the good times, the happy times, and the contented times. And you know what? Some looked down on those cheerful events that I wrote about because it seemed insignificant to them. Is that fair? Hey, I’m tickled pink you had a  much “happier” life than me, nonetheless, those were my good times and they meant everything to this girl. And I will tell you this: I am a dream come true.

We all have goals, we all dream dreams. Don’t try to be like anyone else. Be yourself and follow your heart. Pursue your dreams and don’t ever quit. Timing is everything and sometimes it takes baby steps. But don’t allow anyone to downplay your dreams! Ever. No matter the size.

© M.A. Pérez, 2016, All Rights Reserved

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June 23, 2016 · 7:06 PM

Father’s Day Tribute to the Men in my Family

 

Picture2Dad: A son’s first hero. A daughter’s first love.

The fathers in my family are called Dad, Daddy, and Papi. Newsflash: None are perfect! But each one represents love, courage, provision, and strength. Their eyes glow with purpose. Their smiles melt hearts. Their chest swells with pride. Their callous hands protect. They stand tall with dignity. And their embraces offer comfort and assurance. Yes, they are the pillars in our households.

It’s said that every man is trying to either live up to his father’s expectations or make up for his father’s mistakes. I don’t know if that’s true. I only know that each man represented in my family strive to being the very best possible. Each hold a mantle and carry a torch for the next generation. Each dad represented in my family lays a solid foundation, even those who have crossed over to the other side. I can’t help but to think about my own grandfathers. They were strong, respected dedicated men with a constant presence. They left behind a legacy. When the tough got going, they didn’t cave under pressure. They persevere with Puerto Rican pride in every fiber of their being.

To the men in my family who are dads (and have yet to be): I love and admire each and every one of you. And to my dear husband who married me with four children, I share this quote: “It takes a strong man to accept somebody else’s children and step up to the plate another man left on the table.” I salute you.

I salute you all.

Remember: Any man can be a father. But it takes a special person to be a dad.

© M.A. Pérez, 2016, All Rights Reserved

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June 17, 2016 · 6:19 AM

Metamorphosis

My family was poor.  As a child, by not owning four-legged friends, I grew an interest in the behaviors of tiny critters, such as insects. Curious at what lay beneath the ant piles, I liked to dig apart their colonies to watch the different activities of the workers, the soldiers, and the queen ant that I read about in books. I never developed a fear of grasshoppers, even if they spat “tobacco” on my fingers, or of handling caterpillars that pricked when they crawled on my hand, or of sneaking up on lizards that left their wiggling tails behind — I was too caught up wondering what the funny red thing on their throats going in and out was all about. My fascination for those critters was a favorite pastime.

Not all school projects were memorable, but I recall one that stuck with me for years. When the teacher assigned a report on any subject, I decided to pick caterpillars. On a large poster board, I drew the four stages of the butterfly: (1) egg, (2) larva, (3) pupa, and (4) adult. I described metamorphosis. Though it wasn’t a Picasso, my work earned a ranking on my school’s hallway wall, posted for all to see, with the highest mark in class: A+.

One sunny day at school during recess, I found a black, woolly caterpillar crawling in the shrubs and unafraid, gently placed it in my palm. A classmate asked to see what I held. When I opened my hand to show him, he whacked it so hard that the caterpillar flew out and disappeared onto a bush. And that’s when I morphed! Without hesitation, I slapped him on the face, hard. The boy stood stunned, mouth opened.

As an adult, I often thought about the word metamorphose. It means to change completely in nature or form.

I think back about how alcohol deceived my loved ones, giving them a false sense of power. After drinking, like the caterpillar many years ago in my book report, they metamorphosed into social butterflies fresh out of its cocoon. They felt invincible, glamorous or intelligent. Gone were the restraints that crippled them emotionally. They carried a false sense of bravado. It was then that they laughed wildly, conversed freely, and flirted openly.

The more attention and compliments they received from others, the less they knew the difference between genuine praise and mere flattery.

(A small excerpt taken from Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace. )

 

© M.A. Pérez, 2016, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Behavior, Personal

I Don’t Know What to Do!

I don’t know what to do today.
Perhaps I’ll go outside and play,
or stay indoors and watch TV,
or take a bath, or climb a tree.

Or maybe I’ll go ride my bike,
or pick my nose, or take a hike,
or jump a rope, or scratch my head,
or play a game, or stay in bed,
or dance a jig, or pet the cat,
or drink some milk, or buy a hat,
or sing a song, or read a book,
or change my socks, or learn to cook,
or dig a hole, or eat a pear,
or call my friends, or brush my hair,
or hold my breath, or have a race,
or stand around and slap my face.

I’m so confused, and bored, and blue,
to not know what I ought to do.
I guess that I should just ask you.
So, what do you think I should do?

Copyright © 2009 Kenn Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.


I found the above humorous poem and thought about my kids when they were small. Outside of TV, the only technology we had back then was on the Atari, playing games like Pong and Asteroids. Anyone remember those? But the most entertainment for me was watching my kids’ aerobic antics while calling out to me:

“Watch me, Mommy.”

“Mommy, look at this.”

“See what I can do, Mommy?”

Today, my grown children each have individual gifting, talents and uniqueness. I still love hearing from them whether they call, text, or email me. My heart skips a beat whenever they excel in their achievements. They still put a smile on my face. We can still laugh together.

Children grow fast. All you have to do is blink. You’ll wonder where did the time fly? Cherish those moments.

Oh, and by the way, I drew the sketch below of my kids, thirty years ago.

Wasn’t it just yesterday?

Image

© M.A. Perez, 2016, All Rights Reserved

About "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit & Grace"

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Filed under Children, Fun