Doña Rosa Chavajay Chac, 6 Agosto, 1936
Thursday was Mother’s Day here in Guatemala. Rosa didn’t make our appointment that day because her family, like most families here, threw a party for her. I’ve been interviewing a lot of mothers (and fathers) here, who are around the same age as my parents. As I listen to them tell the stories of their lives, I realize how little I know of the details of my own parent’s lives, what school was like for them, how national and global events shaped their lives, what their first job was, what their parents were like when they were middle aged. I’m sure bits and pieces of this have been shared with me over the years, but I have a feeling that the rebellion and emotional separation of adolescence and early adulthood closes this font of knowledge for most of us. Who wants to tell stories to a kid who doesn’t want to listen? If there is one thing this project has taught me, it is the value of just listening. Look out, Mom and Dad, I might set up a camera and try to interview you.