A Look Back On How My Teen Came To Be

by Migdalia Rivera


Today I saw a glimpse of who my son will become when he enters adulthood. Images of when he was younger flashed through my head and I was amazed that this young man is maturing into a wonderful human being. I know it sounds bias because I am his mother but you would have to know us to understand just how far we have come as a family and as individuals. I am thankful to God for the change in our lives, especially in his.

I was 22, almost 23, when I had Big K. I had just come from Puerto Rico and was very sheltered and naive. His father was my first in everything, my first boyfriend and my first intimate relationship. I thought it would last … but it didn’t. Yet I knew I wanted Big K since the moment I found out I was pregnant.  He was, and still is, one of my greatest blessing (at least until God gave me Prince!) and for him I grew up.

Before Big K, I attended Pace University but city life beckoned. I dropped out to hang out with friends. Yet as soon as I found out I was pregnant I knew I needed to get back to school. It was the only way I could give him all he needed and deserved. I worked double shifts during my pregnancy and when I returned from maternity leave, 5 months after he was born,  I continued the routine. During that time my dream did not fade. I came home exhausted but determined. By the time Big K was one, I had saved about $30,000 in my savings and IRA (which I cashed out). It was enough to pay my rent and our necessities, while I worked part-time and obtained my Associates, the first step to a better life! 

Those were carefree times for he and I! I’ve always been very savvy with money so we were able to live a “Latinalicious” life. We traveled when I was on break. We went to museums, parks, the zoo, amusement parks and the beach (every weekend in the summer!). I have amazing friends and family who supported and helped us. Every girlfriend was an aunt! In fact, Big K told me he had more aunts (Titis in Spanish) than he could count! They brought Big K his baby furniture (Gracias Mary!), taught me to cook and invited us for dinner when they saw I was horrible at it (Thanks Christina and Lorraine!), played with Big K (“Sharing is caring right Ivette!), watched him so I could study or go out every once in awhile (Thanks Kenny, Lorraine, Luly, Christina and Sandy!). They pushed me and kept it real (Mom/Fina you inspired me!). They adopted us (Love you Walter for being the male father figure my boys need!). And best of all when I needed an ear, they listened (Lisa/May you are my girls for life!). They were and are our family!

As I watched my son with his suit, all 5 ft 9 inches of him, I recalled the younger Big K, the stubborn and carefree child he had been. I remembered when he started a fire in my bathroom. Or when he threw such a HUGE tantrum, my neighbor threatened to call ACS as she banged on my apt. door. Of course, as soon as I opened the door, he stopped kicking and crying. He even  gave her an angelic smile as he said hello!  I recalled how I almost called him Champagne (Blame it on the hormones!) and didn’t give him water the first year he was born because no one told me babies needed water! I also remembered how terrified I was when he was about 5 and disappeared! He had opened the door while I was showering to go play with the neighbors dog AND yes I ran out in a towel when I didn’t hear him! As he aged, he matured. He is no longer stubborn, but independent, a leader. As for his carefree attitude, that I’m happy to say matured also. He’s learned that there is a time for fun and a time for hard work.

As I looked at him, I could see that he had listened during our talks, that he had noticed all my efforts, that he recalled, how I stressed education as I later worked full-time, while going to school full-time, so that I could get my Bachelors. He couldn’t contain his excitement as he prepared to leave, neither could I. But I have to admit a part of me was sad. I was sad because my son, my heart, would be leaving to college in less than three years. It was what I had strived for since he was born … to give him something that no one could ever take away from him: an education. In this program, he has a chance of getting a full 4 year scholarship, as well as a guaranteed job, by one of the sponsoring companies. It is all I had dreamed of and so much more! So please explain to me why I felt so sad as the cab drove away?  


*I don’t normally post about Big K, my teen, because he doesn’t feel comfortable with it but he gave me permission. Gracias Amor!/Thanks Love!

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Luly July 23, 2009 at 9:42 am

Awww ma I remember so much. You are making me cry reading this and all I can say is you have been a great and wonderful mom!! Big K and Prince are truly blessed having you in their lives. Quite frankly, all of us are blessed having you in our lives. Just remember no regrets, you have accomplished so much and there is still much work ahead. Love you always.

2 Lisa July 23, 2009 at 11:36 am

This is one of my favorite posts yet. I’m happy he allowed you to “talk” about him in your blog. You have been thru very rough times (like all of us) and you succeeded with so much.

I’m sure all of your dreams will come true. Thanks for sharing this. It made me tear up :)

3 Sabrina July 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm

I guess everyone feels the same way I do. This is my favorite blog yet. So touching and so inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

4 carol at A Second Cupc July 23, 2009 at 4:40 pm

What a wonderful post. Your son sounds like a special young man with a very smart mama.

5 K July 23, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Sniff Sniff. This was by far, the best post you’ve written. Big K has grown to become a fine young man and both he and Prince will be blessed because of the sacrifices you’ve made. You did your thing and it shows through Big K. I am so very proud of you because you are still making sacrifices and still doing your thing. Be blessed, stay focused and keep God in your life and you will always be successful. Thanks again for sharing your story.

6 Jaime Farkas July 23, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Thanks for sharing. You have a very handsome son!

7 Isolated Existence July 24, 2009 at 2:28 am

Thank you so much for sharing! Beautiful post, like Lisa I am glad your son allowed you to share his story. Glad to know a bit more about you :-)

8 Amelia July 25, 2009 at 9:43 am

Wow, time certainly flies. Looking at that pic of Big K makes me realize how they all grow up so fast. (hence G graduating H.S and off to college). You have done a remarkable job raising the boys. Big K is going to be an amazing man thanks to you.
Luv ya. :o)

9 Ginny July 26, 2009 at 12:22 pm

What a beautiful post, thanks for sharing it!

10 Justice Ny July 29, 2009 at 10:58 am

I’m sobbing right now. What a beautiful and inspiring post. He is handsome and smart – you’ve got a lot to be proud of and I, too, would have had a hard time letting that cab go. You’re very strong. Thanks for sharing.

11 Rachel June 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm

You made me cry…… But happy tears! What an inspiration you and your family are to so many of your readers. Thanks K for linking me to such an inspiring. motivating and beautiful story. May God keep showering you and your family Ms.Latina! Shine on! :) -Rachel

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