Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Burritos in your lunch box
I made them burritos for lunch.
Specifically, bean and cheese burritos. I had to make my lovies their lunch for school today and the most convenient thing for me to do was take advantage of all the beans I made last Sunday. It's Bean Week, yo. As I wrapped them in foil and placed them in their sandwich container, I laughed. I remembered hoping and praying my mom wouldn't embarrass me and put a burrito in my lunchbox.
You have to understand, I went to school with very few Latinos. Aside from my family, I did not have an accurate picture of what my culture looked like. Oh sure, I was living it but I didn't have a mirror to look into so I could accept it. Does that make sense?
My dark, frizzy ponytails, brown skin, eyeglasses, and thick thighs already stood out like a sore thumb. Imagine my horror at the thought of unearthing a big, foil-wrapped chorizo burrito from my lunchbox.
I realize now how I wanted nothing more than to fly under the radar. I wanted to look like everyone else: thin, blond, with straight hair and wearing a Def Leppard t-shirt.
That burrito was a symbol of everything I was but did not accept about myself.
Thank God for Chicano Studies in college is all I have to say. Sadly, for most of us, that is the first opportunity we get to truly learn about ourselves. That is the first time I learned about my culture and was able to gain some sense of empowerment. It's not so much that my family failed to teach me about who I was...they were just living life. I don't think it occurred to them that I needed to know about where we came from so that I could be content with how different I was from the other kids.
And now? I look forward to my mom's burritos. At the beach, Disneylandia, camping, a Dodger game--my mom knows we expect her delicious burritos and she is very gangsta about smuggling them wherever we go when we need an inexpensive snack.
And my lovies? They were excited about having bean and cheese burritos for lunch. They weren't worrying about what the other kids would think. They weren't begging me for Lunchables. Their main concern was keeping them warm and not getting smooshed by their juice pouch.
I can only imagine the glee on their little faces as they are enjoying their burritos this afternoon. It makes me feel good.
Photo: That is me looking all cute and whatnot, hoping that my mama packed me a ham sandwich and not a chorizo burrito.