Sunday, May 10, 2009

Motherhood :: One of my Proudest Moments

In 2006, I chaperoned a church trip to Juarez, Mexico. We took a group of 20 American teenagers to work with a priest who was building churches in the poorest barrios and desert outskirts of Juarez.

As lunchtime approached on the fifth day of grueling work in the relentless heat, we pulled off the highway and stopped at a church in urban Chihuahua, where a group of women were waiting with a lunch of simple but delicious Mexican food. As on each previous day, lunch was tamales, and I heard some grumbling as the kids went through the line. They weren't used to a steady diet of rice, cheese and refried beans, and they were getting sick of it (as well as getting constipated).

As we settled in at the long tables in the church hall, I saw that three or four of our teens had filled plates full of food, taken one bite and pushed it away. Embarrassed, I passed their plates down to the other end of the table, suggesting to the kids sitting there that they should eat these before going back for seconds. A few minutes later, I was surprised to hear Julia’s voice raised in anger. I leaned over to look down the table and saw Jules choking down a tamale from one of the rejected plates and saying “….because it’s insulting, that’s why. They have been cooking all frigging morning to make this food for us.”

It was worth all the stress of the trip just for that moment.

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