Immediately upon climbing into the car her young son thanked her, “for always being there,” she said.
As someone who always seems to be putting the needs of others before her own, Vasquez said such utterances by her children are always welcome and inspirational.
“They remind me that a mother is life,” Vasquez, a mother of three from Heber, said. “There is no life without mothers.”
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For that reason, Vasquez said, Mother’s Day should be celebrated every day, not just once a year. Or in her case, twice a year, since she also observes Mother’s Day today, as is the custom in Mexico.
Vasquez said that her mother and sisters also fall into that category of “crazy” people that are always giving of themselves.
As mothers, women often have the greatest stake in determining an individual’s capacity to love their fellow human beings, said Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez, director of the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University.
And in the case of many Mexican and Mexican-American families, it is not solely the mother that is socializing children, Vélez-Ibáñez said.
Aunts, grandmothers, great-grandmothers all play a prominent role in “teaching a kid to be human,” Vélez-Ibáñez said.
Through family, Latinos typically will have more relations with the same person and more relations with many other people, he said.
Also, for many Mexican-origin families, Mother’s Day usually centers on the matriarch, Vélez-Ibáñez said.
As such, these celebrations are more akin to Mothers’ Day celebrations, he said.
Prior to her mother’s passing three years ago, Lilia Palomino said her 11 brothers and sisters and their respective offspring had gathered for nearly four decades at their mother’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day on May 10.
“But everything changed when my mother died,” Palomino said, adding that she currently gathers with only two of her sisters on the 10th and with her nuclear family on the second Sunday in May, the date Mother’s Day is more commonly celebrated in the United States.
Mothers also typically communicate strength, courage and a strong work ethic, said Dr. Ruth Zambrana, sociology professor and director of the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity at the University of Maryland.
“What we all value in mothers is the strength that they have shown us inside and outside of the home,” Zambrana said.
While their relationship may have been somewhat strained in the past, 17-year-old Ashley Negrete said things have improved considerably.
About two years ago Negrete said she came to the realization that her mother — a single mother of three who also is helping take care of a sick relative — “suffered a lot to give me what I have.”
The closer relationship she now enjoys with her mother is identical to the kind of relationship she would like to one day enjoy with her children, she said. And although Negrete lives with relatives, her mother has recently learned to text on the phone so that they can constantly keep in touch, she said.
“Being away from her makes me appreciate her more,” Negrete said.
Staff Writer, Copy Editor Julio Morales can be reached at 760-335-4665 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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