The summer after my high school graduation, my mother decided to become Mexican. It was 1978. I feared she had lost her mind.
Fifteen years earlier we had immigrated to the Bay Area from Belize, a tiny Central American country with a decidedly Caribbean vibe. Growing up in Belize, my mother longed to be from somewhere she imagined as exotic: Mexico! So she became who she always wanted to be: a Mexicana.
During my absence she had begun watching Novellas, and the Latin American soap operas inspired her. My mother ditched her Caribbean accent and adopted a Spanish one. She sang boleros romanticos while cleaning the house. She befriended Mexican women.
At home, our conversations went round and round like a Mexican Hat Dance.
"Mom, you can't change where you were born. It's a fact. You were born in Belize."