A Love Letter to My Comadre

A true comadre can shine the brightest of lights in the darkest of times. Leslie Priscilla from Latinx Parenting shares how comadrehood changed her whole motherhood experience as a first time Chicana madre.

mom friends hugging

Querida Comadre,

Do you know what you are? You are an irreplaceable tesoro, a true and brilliant treasure. When they say "It takes a village", I think of you, who offers warmth, holding, and sustenance. Through knowing you, I've come to understand in my huesos, these bones, what a strong and healthy friendship can feel like. It's this feeling that prompts me to write you this letter. Receive it as a small token of gratitude, etched in digital stone for you to come back to when you find yourself in the valley of depletion, feeling parched and unseen. As you know, it happens to us all.

Motherhood can be lonely and jarring at every level, especially just after birth. We are as happy as we are sad, as grateful as we are needing more. We are tired. It was when I started this journey that I found myself needing friends, urgently. Being young, at only 24 years old, the friends I had pre-parenthood were in different realities. Those who understood the complexities of motherhood were not in sight, but I needed to find them.

Soon after setting this intention, I was affirmed by the awareness that there were, indeed, others here with me in this beautiful muddy stage of life. I quickly realized that the feeling of being alone, though present, didn't mean some of us couldn't be here together. Being here together, in our mothering, in our efforts to meet the needs of our bebes, could make the pangs of those moments of isolation feel less intense. Fast forward ten years to the present, where I can look back and see how much my survival depended on, and still depends on, comadrehood.

Watching our children play under trees on blankets, on trampolines, on park play structures has been able to generate an appreciation of that shared connection which could fuel the next day. There have been days I forget the snacks, but you have it covered. There have been days I have a last minute work thing, and you appear without hesitation. There are days I'm at the end of my rope and need someone to come and get them for a bit so I can breathe. You pull up with the extra car seat. You've never made me feel like a burden, a weight too heavy to pull, undeserving of care.

Comadre, you've become my lifeline through text, through DM's full of reels and memes that somehow always apply and always tickle.

You see me and have seen me in all of my expressions: joy, sadness, anger, weakness, power, failure, success. You've been the person who speaks my language —the language of care, of motherhood, of seeking to understand. My load has been lightened because of you. You have no interest in judgment, no will to define anyone by their flaws. Your acceptance has been medicine. My children have been your children, and that is medicine.

Our chisme over cafecito is the best chisme. And our laughter! Oh, our belly laughs are those which resound, transcending time and space, reaching all ancestor comadres with the invitation to join us in our joy. Together we laugh about the absurdities of the world around us, about the hilarious things our kids say in their innocence, and we toast to the miracle of finding each other.

Because we are mothers, we mother each other. You have mothered me. Because we are mothers, we understand the need for nurturance. Our comadrehood is where we practice communicating needs. We have ebbed and flowed and stumbled in that process, but we come back and apply our learnings from mistakes we've made with one another. There is safety to make mistakes, there is patience and an abundant display of loving and mutual accountability.

I see you, too, comadre. I see the work that you have done to not repeat the harm with your own niñes. I see the labor rooted in love to keep them safe from harm, from disconnection, from people who might see them as less sacred than they deserve to be seen. This, I know, has been grueling, and I myself feel gifted to be able to witness you roll up your sleeves and dig for the strength to get through the days with the grace that you do. I feel privileged to remind you that you are the best mother for your children, that the tension and thoughts of anxiety are but rising waves that will soon fall again. Thank you for letting me offer that reminder. Speak kindly about my friend, comadre.

I hold you with reverence and feel shiny watching you shine. Your successes are my own and there is a candle on my altar lit for the dreams you have for yourself. There, I pray for your forever health and happiness. There, I allow myself to feel a full body sense of gratitude not only for you, but for the force that brought us together. Something ancestral is present here, something familiar at the cellular level. Oh, this is what community is. This is what being in a circle of connection with you and other comadres does for my spirit. You have spoken life and love into my tired corazon. Thank you.

For that, for everything, I honor you, I celebrate you, I love you.

Por siempre,

Tu Comadre

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