I really enjoyed “Around the Corner” by Sharon Bryan and “Volar” by Judith Ortiz Cofer. Both readings spoke to me as they dealt with the relationship between a mother and a daughter. Each story explored the idea of raising a child and trading your own dreams in exchange for your child’s to come true.
As children, I think we aren’t always aware of the fact that adults were once children as well, full of their own hopes, dreams and hobbies. I personally don’t remember thinking of mother as anything but a mother when I was younger. Now, at 25 years old, I am only a year younger than she was when my twin brother and I were born. I recognize that I have dreams and desires and surely my mother must have had some when she welcomed two infants into the world.
In “Around the Corner”, Sharon Bryan reflects on her mother’s hobbies including horseback riding, archery and journalism. “She left them behind for life with my father, and me, and eventually my two brothers.” While I don’t think women need to separate themselves from their former lives, I do think it becomes difficult to maintain the same hobbies and projects when your main focus is now on a small child who depends on you. My mom always has said that she wants more for me than she ever had. As sweet as it is, I find it rather heartbreaking at the same time. I want more for my mother than she ever had. I would honestly rather go without to know my mother had abandoned any part of who she is for me. Just as Sharon Bryan writes “I was haunted by the image of the person who seemed to have disappeared around the corner just before I arrived.” It is the perfect summarization of how I feel in regards to my own mother.
The same tone is felt throughout “Volar” by Judith Ortiz Cofer. It is yet another story about a mother who loves her life, yet still catches herself dreaming about what it would be like to fly away. Judith opens the story with detail about being an enthusiastic comic book reader, dreaming each night about transforming into a super hero. These dreams alluded to the escape of life that we all sometimes fantasize about. Turning into someone else, looks and personality, and getting away from the monotony life can be. It appears that Judith’s mother yearns to take a vacation to see her family. She asks “How about a vacation in Puerto Rico together this year, Querido?” When he turns the idea down, her mother would gaze out the kitchen window, which faced a dirty alley. “She’d sigh deeply and say the same thing the view from her kitchen window always inspired her to say: Ay, si yo pudiera volar.” Translated, it means “Oh, if I could fly”. Oh, if I could..