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  • Alexa Toledo

Another Point of View

A slight lingering smell of burnt fingertips is floating around the air.

Hearing booms, bangs, and clacks.

It felt as if I was standing in the middle of a War yet all those sounds were coming from the kitchen.

I look in, see my mother scurrying around like a mouse, trying to assemble her ingredients to make tortillas as quickly as possible before my father and brother come home.

She commands me to help and to learn because it’s my duty as a Mexican woman to know how to make tortillas.

However, I stand my ground and declare my act of rebellion— I will not learn such a binding tradition. To make tortillas is to become a slave, property, personal chef for a man.

To make tortillas is to lose my identity as a person.

Upon hearing my act of independence, my mother commands me to pass the corn flour, and began to recall the past how these very tortillas saved her and her family from starving in Mexico. How these tortillas become a feast with just a simple avocado or cheese or beans.

My mother is mixing equal parts water to corn flour. As she is stirring, she looks at me with soft eyes saying every time she makes these tortillas it reminds her that she’s bringing the past to the present and honoring the many strong independent women that came before me, herself and my grandma.

The war that I was fighting so hard came to an abrupt end. It seemed as if a light switch was turned on. I thought by renouncing this tradition I was renouncing the shackles that come with it

But renouncing this, I was losing a part of my ancestors that once I forget I will never get back.

My mother never intended for me to become a servant for a man but instead wanted me to honor and survive once she is gone from this world.

And I thank her for that lasting lesson.

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