The film Real Women Have Curves illustrates the challenges that hinder a student’s path to further education. Ana, one of the characters, faces such a challenge as she has the opportunity for higher education but is compelled to work as a seamstress with her mother and sister. This personally resonates with me because I have also been required to work alongside my father. In households where parents take on leadership roles, they have complete authority and responsibilities including providing food, shelter, and essential items. As a child without income, one’s influence within the household often becomes limited. In the movie, both of Ana’s parents work due to insufficient single income which is similar to my own household where my mother stays at home caring for all her children.
My father, Ignacio, has a strong work ethic as a self-independent contractor for Best Buy. He values being present at work every assigned day to provide for our family. Having a team of two individuals is essential for carrying out home deliveries. It is important to attend work on scheduled days unless there are valid reasons preventing it. Unfortunately, my dad’s delivery partner, Alex, often cancels last-minute, leaving my dad with a route that requires two people. Like my mother Ana, my dad depends on me for assistance.
Whenever my dad needs assistance, I am his go-to person. He is a responsible individual who prioritizes customer satisfaction at Best Buy and doesn’t want to disappoint them by leaving his shift. Usually, I receive an early morning call between 4:30 and 6:30. Sometimes my phone rings once or multiple times before I realize that I have an incoming call at such an early hour. The moment I hear my dad’s voice, I immediately become fully alert. As his eldest son, he perceives me as his ally in challenging situations, and it is my obligation to not let him down when he asks for help. He would say, “Cris, my worker didn’t show up. Can you come and work with me?” Without any hesitation, I reply affirmatively saying, “Yes, dad, I can accompany you to work.” Both of us are aware that even though he requires assistance, I still have school obligations on that day.
Parents and children have a reciprocal relationship, relying on each other for assistance. When a child encounters trouble, they instinctively turn to their parent for help. Similarly, parents always strive to protect and provide for their children. However, there comes a point where parents may need the support of their grown children.
In my personal experience, I have had to assist my father in fulfilling his daily responsibilities. Specifically, this involves ensuring the delivery of all the appliances on his truck to their rightful owners.
Just as my father relies on me for help, Ana’s mother also seeks assistance from Ana. As adult children, it is crucial that we consider the costs and benefits associated with helping our parents regularly. While aiding our parents holds significant value, it should not come at the expense of our education and personal growth.