A2 Basic US 168 Folder Collection
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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.
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A Mother’s Promise: You Can Be Yourself | NYT - Conception

168 Folder Collection
Samuel published on March 22, 2018
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