Meet our new Writer Juan Ibanez   part 1 of 2   by  Juan Ibanez

(Big sigh) I was a baby once too…my earliest memories are holding my mother’s hand as we accompanied my older brother to walk up our long driveway to get on a big yellow bus for school. I can honestly say when it was my turn I was way more excited to ride the bus than going to school. When that day finally came I couldn’t sleep the night before. There we were waiting on a crispy August morning, backpack and all when big yellow pulled up…my brother got on and I went to follow when my mother squeezed tight and held me back. Total confusion. This was my moment, “why can’t I get on mom?” she answered “because this isn’t your bus.” I saw my brother leave and an anxiety I never knew before built up inside me, it was terrible. It was about ten minutes later when I saw a similar bus head down our street. The excitement came back quickly as it rolled our way and then I noticed something odd. This wasn’t a big bus, it was shorter. Disappointing maybe, but left out is more the feeling. It wasn’t til much later that I learned it was because I didn’t know English. As an immigrant son brought to this country at the age of two I didn’t have anyone but my family, fresh out of Mexico. Eventually I earned my big bus moment but the impact has never been forgotten.

Most of my young life could be summarized as feeling left out, either due to my own childish ignorance or my family simply wanting to protect me. Like when I was nine, my father went back to Mexico, I had no idea why…until he came back and I saw my mothers tears as she embraced him on our front yard, not fully grasping what dangers he had gone through, what hell he endured, just to say goodbye to his mother in Mexico, so she could rest in peace. I never realized how strong my mother could hold her composer. I would have never guessed the millions of possibilities that must have been going through her young mind.


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