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  • My husband was an activist from El Salvador.

  • One time, he left on a trip in about November

  • and I didn't hear a word from him until February.

  • Finally, he called and asked me to meet him

  • in Mexico City the next day.

  • We had about one day and one night together.

  • I knew that going back to El Salvador

  • would be really dangerous.

  • I also knew that if he couldn't do the one thing that

  • was the most important to him, that it would be

  • like he wasn't really living.

  • A few weeks after I got home, I found out that I was pregnant.

  • A few weeks after that, I found out

  • that Wilfredo had been killed.

  • I was just so glad that he was leaving part of himself

  • with me.

  • I named him Daniel, a pseudonym that his father used.

  • Having Danny in my life was like having a light.

  • I was grieving and then I had this beautiful baby.

  • I thought about, even though Wilfredo isn't here,

  • how can I raise Danny in a way that would make him proud?

  • But on the other hand, I didn't want Danny

  • to feel like he had to replace his father in any way.

  • And so I wrote him a letter and I promised him

  • that I was going to let him be who he was

  • and allow him to walk his own path.

  • That promise turned out to be really important.

  • A few weeks before Danny's fourth birthday,

  • he told me that he wanted to be a princess for Halloween.

  • This wasn't really a big surprise to me.

  • From the time he was 1 and 1/2 years old,

  • he had this Barbie that he took with him everywhere he went

  • and he loved purple and pink.

  • I usually let him do his thing at home,

  • but in public, I was worried about judgment and teasing.

  • I didn't know if I was doing something wrong as Danny's mom.

  • And I also kind of wondered what Wilfredo

  • would have said or done.

  • I say to Danny, “How about Peter Pan instead?”

  • But Danny was really clear on what he wanted.

  • I had to make a choice.

  • Would I try to pressure him to be like other boys?

  • We found this big purple lacy dress that had jewels on it

  • and I cut it down to size for Danny

  • and I also found a pink shimmery gown

  • because I decided I could be a princess, too.

  • I had a dream that Wilfredo came back to meet Danny.

  • I thought, oh no, what if he sees

  • Danny in his princess dress?

  • And what if he doesn't accept him for who he is?

  • But I also believe in something pretty fundamental.

  • Parents don't get to decide who their children are.

  • What we get to do is to support them.

  • I do believe that Wilfredo would have

  • seen that honoring Danny for who he is was important to him.

  • Danny is really full of love and heart

  • something that he got from his dad.

  • I would tell him, Danny has not followed exactly

  • in your footsteps, but I can't imagine that you wouldn't

  • be incredibly proud of our son.

  • He's one of the bravest people I've ever met, just like you.

  • My mother Nina

  • I don't know a lot about her.

  • I remember that she was profoundly sad.

  • It was sad being around sadness.

My husband was an activist from El Salvador.

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A2 US TheNewYorkTimes danny princess el salvador salvador purple

A Mother’s Promise: You Can Be Yourself | NYT - Conception

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    Samuel posted on 2018/03/22
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