My parents had me when my mother was 22 and my father was 23 (the reason why they look like they could be my siblings). I am 24 years old, and I definitely cannot imagine caring for a child of my own right now. During the first 3 years of my life, we lived with my mother’s family, including my grandmother. I call her my best friend.
Mama Melania is a woman smaller than me (if you can believe it) who I absolutely get my eating habits and quirkiness from. We have the same boisterous laugh that can be heard from a mile away.
No matter how many times every single family member has heard the story, Mama Melania will make sure to tell everyone about the time I called Pizza Hut when I was 3 and made a full order. However, no one knew I ordered food until Pizza Hut called back to say the person calling couldn’t give an address.
Mama Melania will always talk about when I went to school for the first time with her, my mother, my father, and my godfather. Everyone thought I would cry and not want to go inside; however, I waved with the biggest smile on my face, and that is when they knew I would be a nerd.
I once asked Mama Melania for milk. After she poured it, I wanted it warmed up, so she put it in the microwave. After that, I wanted cold milk, so she put ice in the once cold but now warm milk. Needless to say my stomach did not sit well that night.
Mama Melania worked in the garment district when she arrived in NYC, so I always had the best materials to choose from when it came to school projects, from fabrics to sequins to sparkles.
Mama Melania will always remind me of the time I wanted to give my father a head massage, and I lathered up his head with diaper rash cream rather than lotion.
Mama Melania and I eat our meats the same way: we start off with utensils, but always end up using our fingers to poke and separate the food.
Mama Melania makes the fluffiest of all pancakes and the best fideo con leche, even though she knows it doesn’t work well with my diabetes.
Mama Melania will make sure to ask about “all of the boys” (I have none), and then will proceed to tell me to make sure I can handle my own.
Whenever Mama Melania is over at our place, she will ask us to get her a personal Hawaiian pizza from Pizza Hut.
Nowadays, I call Mama Melania once a week to catch up and gossip about everything and everyone. I make sure to give her money when I can, buy a calling card for the months she is in the Dominican Republic, and send clothes for her to give to those who do not have enough. As I get older, I know she is too, and life moves at a rapid speed. Make sure to appreciate the time you have with the ones you love. Hug them tight. Make sure to call them once in a while just to catch up. I always end the call letting her know I’ll call back next week as a way for something both of us can look forward to. She is truly my best friend, and I am lucky enough that I had one from the day I was born.