Growing up, we (my brother, sister, and I) did not have a dad in our lives. I never paid attention to other families with their dad; it never struck me that my life should have a dad in it. So I thought to myself, ''If ever I become a dad, Ii will be the best dad that I can be.'' I always wanted to be there for my kids to show ‘my dad’ how it is to be a real father.
I stupidly got myself deported due to that I had no papers. I always knew that there was a risk being illegal. You can't get lucky driving without a license for ever, and soon you start not giving a fuck. Sooner or later you know you are going to get busted. I never knew that my family would go through all this and that I would not be a part of my son's life just like my dad was to me. My son was 5 months old when I got deported. Now he is 3 years old. We had a plan so I would not be far away from my kids no more than a year. That plan turned into 3 years and it would have been longer if I had not stopped the madness. When my son was 1 to 4 months old we had a routine already planned out for the day. We would get up and bathe every morning making sure we were clean. I mean he had no teeth and the only milk he drank was the milk that his momma pumped early in the morning. After our bath, we would watch movies and of course, I had to feed him. He ate the fruit mash up that they sell for him. I would feed him a lot, because I wanted him happy and chunky. So our days flew. Cecilia was running off with Grandpa and Grandma a lot, so when my son came into the pic, I barely saw Cecilia. My son would take up all my time. I had to be with him nonstop from when he was about a month to 5 months. It really was not difficult.
Now he is 3. He used to come and visit (when he was one he came for the summer, he and Cecilia did.) But Cecilia wanted all my attention; it was hard giving Yayas any attention, except for when it came to feeding time and sleeping time.
|Parque Morelos, Tijuana, BC, Summer 2012. Yayas in the ERGO.|
Now that I have him all to myself it is weird. I always wanted my kids with me; I want all my family with me. But if it came down to where I would only see my kids, then I would always love to be with them. Yayas is really different than Cecilia. I know that I should not compare my kids, but I have to so that I know their differences. Yayas is really fragile- not emotionally, but physically. Cecilia was so independent and Yayas needs help with almost everything. I don't know if I should shape him up or let him be his own person that way I don't ruin him? When he was in Portland, he would not do some of the things that he does here- for example, showering. He loves to shower and loves to brush his hair and wash his hair. Brushing his teeth, He still does not like it but his teeth are way better now that what it used to be and we are not even 7 days into being together. One thing he does not like for sure is letting anyone touch his toys; he is really emotionally connected to them. I need to teach him how to share. He is such a sweet boy- gives kisses and hugs. I used to be all by myself, and now I am chasing him right and left, making sure he is okay since his Momma is far away and he no longer has Cecilia to teach him. I love waking up to him and love sleeping next to him. He makes me want to change in so many ways. I appreciate life more with him around. I feel complete with him.
But too much time has gone by- I feel like I have to cram 3 years into 3 months. I missed all his teeth coming out, his first words. His first steps. But if I never see my kids again for any circumstance, I know that Cecilia will be a very powerful woman and Yayas, now that I know him, will be awesome. I would miss them but I know they would be well-off. If they, for godly reasons, come to be in my life then I would do what everyone else does and slave myself for a smile on their face. I know that it is not really about me anymore but about my kids. All my life I have been remote, emotionless; but now I have reasons to be someone who I never was.
|Father and Son, Ensenada, BC, Mex., March 2014|
A lot of people think that men don't think about their kids and that it is easy for them, especially the deported. There are so many stories of dads that got deported and the women who only know how to find another and move on. I mean if that would have happened to me then I would be ready for it. I have fought tooth and nail for my kids, always being the bad guy. I know I am not bad and that I am actually a good father. I am very lucky to be a part of my kids’ life and still be in the picture. My heart goes out to the ones that lost their love ones due to the border. I am very happy that my son is here with me.