There’s a popular salsa song that beautifully describes the love that is found in a mother’s heart.
Growing up I used to have neighbors that were fans of listening to salsa music at a high volume in their living room. My bedroom’s window was next to their home so I was..ahem the lucky one of my family to listen to the mid-afternoon serenades.
My hardcore-salsa-music neighbors would often update their weekly playlist with the newest hits of the year. (Or that’s what my sister and I believed) However, there was always one song that they never stopped listening to. It was Amor y Control by Ruben Blades.
For many years, la bendita canción annoyed me. But one day as a teenager, this Grammy-nominated song struck me with its powerful message about family, love, and compassion. The more I listened to it, the more the song reminded me about the mothers (and dads) that I was lucky to know.
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A Glimpse Of A Mother’s Heart
When I became a mother, Amor y Control took me to another level. It was the reminder of the type of love I wanted to give to others, and the mother I wanted to be to my children. Let me highlight a few things that we all could strive for, regardless if you are a mother or not.
First, let’s turn that salsa song on…
You can read the English version here.
"Solo quien tiene hijos entiende que el deber de un padre no acaba jamás, que el amor de padre y madre no se cansa de entregar"
"Only those who have children understand that a parent’s duty does not ever end. That the love of a father and a mother never grows tired of giving"
One prominent characteristic of moms is that we plan to be there for our children forever. It’s a bond that would never go away.
"Que deseamos para ustedes lo que nunca hemos tenido" "We wish for you all, what we’ve never had."
The Latina mom that pops into my mind when I think about this statement is the immigrant mom that came to this country for better opportunities for herself and family. The mom that holds more than two jobs so she can be able to afford those darn karate classes. And the reason why many mothers make big sacrifices just to be able to give to our children “what we’ve never had”.
"A pesar de los problemas, familia es familia y cariño es cariño" "That in spite of the problems, family is family and love is love."
My neighbors (the ones that loved listening to salsa music) consisted of three women: grandma, her daughter and the five-year old daughter. Heartbreak seemed to continuously steal the joy of their lives. However, I always admired how their determination to make it together, regardless of the struggles of facing life as widows, helped them to have it clear that family was first.
"Cuanto control y cuanto amor tiene que haber en una casa" "How much control and how much love must exist in a home"
But, wait, there’s one more…
Never ever give up on their children
"Aunque tú seas un ladrón y aunque no tienes razón, yo tengo la obligación de socorrerte. Y por más drogas que uses, y por más que nos abuses, la familia y yo tenemos que atenderte" Even if you’re a thief, an even though you are wrong, it is my duty to help you. And no matter how many drugs you use and how much you may abuse us, our family and I must care for you.”
This may be one of the strongest lines of the song and what certainly summarizes the deep love of a mother.