Brave Heart


Last week my husband asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day. I thought long and hard and honestly I couldn’t think of something. Don’t get me wrong a new diamond wouldn’t hurt anybody, but I really don’t need anything. Then, I thought of my friend Tricia and decided to give up my wish for hers.

Almost three years ago I met her, a woman like no other in my life time. It was a hot summer day and we were both at the pool chasing after our crazy toddlers. Mine was a little over 3 and hers just 18 months old. Her contagious laugh and loud kindness are the traits that I enjoy the most when I am in her company; she masters the ability of making people feel special.

Time passed and Thomas, her baby boy, struggled to breath and eat. He was born with a congenital defect called Double Aortic Arch, which caused severe vascular compression of the trachea and air restriction into the lungs. Continue reading “Brave Heart”

Dolls without identity


Last Sunday I almost choked while sipping my coffee at breakfast after reading the following headline under the “Toys” section of CNN: Teen inspires first transgender doll.

The doll Jazz Jennings debuted two weeks ago at the New York Toy Fair next to books that teach the ABCs, play dough, and robots. It is worth to mention that the toy maker, Tonner Doll Company, specializes in adult collectibles and high-fashion dolls.

Jazz Jennings, 16, is one of the most recognized faces in the LGBT community in America. According to her parents, she “came out of the closet” during her 5th birthday party when she decided to wear a one piece girl’s bathing suit in front of all his friends. Continue reading “Dolls without identity”

Licence to Procreate


United States is a super power in the world in many aspects. However, there is one area in which it fails like any undeveloped country: the absence of paid maternity leave policy.

When I first moved to the US in 2005, I was 24. I was single and had no plans of having children, yet I thought there was a maternity leave policy similar to my home country Colombia, back then 14 weeks. Soon enough I learned, when one of my best friends had her first baby, that the Family & Medical Leave Act in general only guarantees that a woman won’t lose her job for 12 weeks, but if she wants to get paid, she had to accumulate paid vacation time. Continue reading “Licence to Procreate”

Cheerleader Mom


I am not an athletic person now nor when I was growing up. Not only did I not like sports, but my home country was not very supportive of anything besides soccer for boys back in the eighties. Also, my mom had to work full time to support us, so she didn’t have the time or means to sign me up for extracurricular activities.

However, even though I hated contact sports, I had to play at school. Against my will, because I was one of the tallest girls in my class—I have been 5’7’’ since I was 13–the coaches always chose me to play basketball in grade and high school.

I remember finishing every game all bruised up and with a couple of sprained fingers that looked like Italian sausages, swollen and purple-grayish!

Continue reading “Cheerleader Mom”

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing


Last Monday my husband, my son, and yours truly hit the streets of our neighborhood dressed up as Death, Optimum Prime Transformer, and sexy witch, respectively for Halloween. My husband will tell you that my costume fit me to perfection–not only size wise, but also because of my mischievous intuition. By magic, if the weather is nice, I can tell you exactly where my husband is after work: golfing.

Before we left the house for the “Trick or Treat” marathon–there is no other way to call it when you have a five-year-old–I made sure we didn’t walk through one of the nearby streets. A couple of weeks ago, I received an alert through Facebook, about a sex offender moving into our community. When I clicked on the attachment to see the picture of the “monster,” I looked into his eyes and felt a chill run through my spine. Continue reading “The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”

Smoke Curtain


One of my favorite American sayings is, “Putting lipstick on a pig,” and there are countless examples of this expression in real life. Nonetheless, one in particular caught my attention last weekend. The outcry of the Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) industry–AKA manufactures of the e-cigarettes–are finally facing a tax measure that is on the ballot this upcoming November 8th election in California.

The ENDS industry is fighting nail and tooth against Proposition 56, which seeks not only to increase the existing cigarette tax, but also to begin taxing the e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine dispensers just like tobacco. Why now? Because recent studies have shown an alarming increase in the use of these devices by middle and high-school kids. Continue reading “Smoke Curtain”

A hurricane named Matthew


Last week Florida endured one of the worst storms in the 11 years that I’ve been living in the Sunshine State. After killing hundreds of people in Haiti, Hurricane Matthew aimed all his strength towards the South Eastern Coast of the US, generating an avalanche of preparations from state governments, law enforcement, emergency services, and the general public.

Before this one, I dismissed all storms and thought the preparations were a marketing strategy from the hardware stores to sell stuff that hardly ever comes off their shelves. Probably it is due to my Colombian upbringing; honestly we never plan for anything and are used to being rescued by the Sacred Heart and the Virgin Mary. Continue reading “A hurricane named Matthew”

The iNanny


With all due respect to Steve Jobs, as brilliant as he was, I don’t think he ever imagined the power that his iPad would have on society, especially on children. This machine has become my on-call assistant, always ready to entertain my little one, without complaining or asking for a pay increase.

Nonetheless, as convenient as the iPad has proven to be, last week I had a close encounter with the adverse effects of this appliance on my son’s behavior. This made me realize something I already knew, but had forgotten for a while: nothing can replace me in my son’s life.  Well… for now that he is five years old, of course. Continue reading “The iNanny”

Olympic Mom

Xiomara Spadafora Love of Gold-001

I have been an Olympics fanatic since I was a little girl. Therefore, last Friday I watched the entire inaugural ceremony of the Rio 2016 Summer Games, and besides learning Brazilian history and a bunch of new country names, I also learned that “Super Model Cat-Walk on High Heels” had became a new sports discipline at the Maracana Stadium.

Kidding aside, over the weekend I watched different competitions of men and women’s cycling, beach volleyball, gymnastics, and swimming, the latter, the sport of Dana Vollmer. This amazing athlete–Gold Medalist of the 100 meters butterfly at the 2012 London Games–returned to the pool to defend her gold and world record. However, she was defeated by Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström, and Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, both 16. Continue reading “Olympic Mom”

Building Blocks for Greatness

Xiomara Spadafora Building Blocks

For the past two and a half years I have been buying my son Lego sets, age appropriate or not. Secretly, I bought them for myself, because I missed out on the experience when I was a kid. Finally, in the past week, my son fell in love with them and has spent hours playing during the last days of the summer vacation before he starts kindergarten.

Although he plays well most of the time, he is a little impatient and complaints if his Lego creations don’t cause intergalactic explosions. Then, I have to remind him to be thankful, telling him about the children all over the world who have nothing to play with, except what they can build with their own hands out of garbage. This is Esteban Quispe’s story; the seventeen-year-old genius from Bolivia who build a robot like Disney’s Wall-E out of waste from a dump. Continue reading “Building Blocks for Greatness”

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