Rico means rich in Spanish but it also means deliciously good.
My relationship with money.
I hate it but at the same it’s directly correlated to my happiness.
When people tell me “money doesn’t buy happiness” I’m expected to agree.
And I’m a little bit ashamed to admit I pretty much always do, never truly voicing out my opinion.
But those same people are the ones who get to go home most days and see their mom preparing dinner,
Or dad cleaning the kitchen, maybe feeding the dog.
I don’t get that.
And please I don’t want your pity I just want you to understand that when I wake most mornings first thing I think about is if my mom got home safe tonight,
Or if she even arrived home at all if she is still stuck in a pretty mansion in Montecito where she can only gaze at fragile expensive art works that line cream colored walls,
And care for an antique lady covered in prune skin topped with cotton candy gray hair Who will only ever call her Juanita, Maria, Jessica, Guadalupe and any other name except Karla.
Karla is what my grandmother named her.
But over her 25 years in America she can count on her two rough calloused hands how many of her employers actually ever cared to call her that.
She works like mule 7 days a week with not ever a enough rest,
But can only barely cover rent.
So she crams the two halves of her broken heart into a tiny room to rent out her home just so she can afford to feed them.
It trembles her to her core when her daughter at only 8 years old says "Mommy it’s okay I don’t need new clothes I’d rather save up for school books".
Or when she got bedridden for 4 months and couldn’t work so her son figured out canned sticky peaches don’t taste that bad and if he stayed in during lunch his stomach wouldn’t hurt that much when his sister could only fry up one single salty egg for his dinner I couldn’t stand seeing him get thinner and thinner.
So now when people comment on his weight it makes me furious because he deserves to indulge in his favorite foods and have enough energy to go out and get dirty during recess.
How much money is available to me directly affects how happy I may be.
Because happiness to me is being able to see him not worry about how much money he wastes when he eats.
Happiness to me is the day I have enough in my bank account to let my mother breathe when she can sleep for a full 10 hours straight and not care about how ironed her uniform will be.
When she no longer sits in her car crying until 4am about how she will pay the bills alone where no one especially not her children can see how she suffers.
But I’ve seen and I see her the most days I can, sacrificing herself in an attempt to give us the best life she can.
When I first walked outside and saw her dimly lit inside her rusty car
At 10 years old I understood that she simply wanted to be left alone, so I did and I watched her try to mend her fractured soul crunching numbers in her calculator as she held back tears that seemed like tsunamis.
So I’m sorry if you think of me as greedy or maybe even naive for putting green right up with my happiness I don't think the best things in life are money I have just witnessed my mother killing herself everyday and every night doing a job she hates so she can put bread to my mouth.
A bread that I can’t seem to live without.