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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

Sometimes I wish I was an immigrant so I could know how my mom feels.

By Jonathan Gonzalez  |   From : New York, NY  |   School : MACS The Bronx

My name is Jonathan Gonzalez. I was born in New York City, where it’s as cold as Alaska. I left New York when I was eight years old and moved to Reading, Pennsylvania where I lived for nine years. Reading is a small city, you see people walking wherever they want to go. I lived with my brother, sister, and my mother. We all would hang together when we were in the house, either in the kitchen or the living room because it was a little spot where we could all chill together. This was important to me because hanging out with my family was fun. We would joke around and laugh together at our jokes. I felt happy when I was with them because I knew that when I grew up I would remember all the things we did and laughed about.

In Reading, PA the alleyways were scary for girls to walk through alone unless they had their friends too, but when I walked through it was not really scary for me because I was used to it. I always walked in the alleyway alone or with my friends. My old house in Reading was really big inside. The house I live in now is nice; it looks like they just made this house.

When my mother told me we were moving back to New York I was tight because my childhood had been in Pennsylvania. I had lots of friends that I called brother or sister that I hung out with every day. We would go to the park where we’d go ball up. When I told my friends I was moving in a month they were upset and didn’t want me to leave at all. I felt mad because I had so many friends there. What was the point of moving? My mom said that she wanted to move so that all the bad stuff that happened would be in the past so that I could start a new life. Then I felt good thinking about starting a new life. I knew I would not be the same person I used to be. I would tell her that now I feel great because she changed me and I feel like a different person.

My mom is sometimes means and sometimes nice; it depends on if you disrespect her. She cares about people, especially her kids. My mom is from Puerto Rico. When she was young, her mom and her brother left to go to the United States. She was around 15 years old when she came to the United States to New York. Sometimes I wish I was an immigrant so I could know how my mom feels. I went home one day and I asked my mother how she feels about being an immigrant. She got mad and said, “I’m not an immigrant, I was raised in the United States, not in Puerto Rico.” I told her she was still an immigrant because Puerto Rico is a different country, but I guess she didn’t like when I told her she was an immigrant so I backed off and let it go.

When the day came for us to move, the first thing I did was pack my clothes and all my shoes. Then I helped my mother with her things. After all that, I went to see all my friends for the last time. I said goodbye to them; some were crying and others were upset. What I really was going to miss about them was the laughs we had, the parties we went to, and the jokes we shared.

In my new home it feels like I started a new life. I have started making new friends that I can trust, but what makes me feel better is that I have a friend from Reading in New York. We both came from the same school and now we both go to the same school in the Bronx. He moved over here before I did. The first day I went to school at Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies I felt weird because I saw different people who I didn’t know. Now I have made friends and I still have the friends I had in Reading so I feel alright.

 

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