Home » A Novel » Happy Birthday to Who? Today I am reminded of my Mother and my daughter..excerpt from “Training Heels”

Happy Birthday to Who? Today I am reminded of my Mother and my daughter..excerpt from “Training Heels”

I was born on a cloudy day,,,a long long time ago “;_) and I would NOT change a thing! Birthdays a time for reflection on the previous turn around the Sun here on Earth. I am reminded of my Mother and my daughter, and how we pass down lessons and learn how to “BE”.  The habit of making my bed upon awakening EVERY DAY was ingrained in me.  How I put on my bra is the PROPER WAY (according to Mom and you know Mother knows BEST!{Read below}) …and I do it instinctively.  You give what you get and then if you are happy, you give MORE!  I am so thankful and full of BLESSINGS, my cup runneth over with LOVE!!! Today and FOREVE more (infinity).


Her Mother on several occasions would look deep into her eyes as if she wanted to tell her something important.  And on one occasion she looked deep and stated with tears in her eyes why her daughter, Claudina was so  special. Image “One of the reasons why (she was told) she was so special (and this was at a very young age) was because She had two father’s . One Black and one Philipino.” Yes Claudina thought to herself, She must be a puppy or a cat for they are the only animals  (and Claudina had read or heard) that the female could have off-spring by  multiple males.   Yeah that’s it.  Claudina must be a puppy or a cat….so that would make her Moms a ….NOOOOOO.  Why would her Mother tell her such a story.  Claudina thought just tell me the truth.  Whatever that is.  That could not be true could it?

I promise you that Claudina did not believe it for more than a week.

Image Although she was born on a cloudy day hence “Claudine” was given as her middle name, she was a thinker.

She was a somewhat trusting however very inquisitve child.  She was quiet and because she was quiet, she listened and took in everything. And everything Claudina saw and heard she  analyzed it with her brain and processed and filed it for later use. There were occasions when she was told she was not Black. She was different She was too smart She was too quiet. Because she was quiet she might be sneaky. She was too smart for her own good. She was cute. She had a nice smile She had nice eyes. She was too much.  And more nicites and negatives were lavished like a rich expensive skin cream or more closer to how she took it, splashed upon her like an inexpensive cologne drenching her with a cold rank wetness with a distinctive smell.. like the gutter rainwater when a car passes by and splashes it all over you and it soaks you to the core.  It makes you shocked, angry and you curse the driver of the car and ask “why me?. These positives and negative reinforcements or declarations were endured. Later she would take off those wet clothes, take a warm shower and redress herself in something appropriate. But that is for later in the story.

Her mother also taught her to make sure to make up her bed as soon as she got up.  She would never lose that habit.  She taught her how she must put on a bra.  “This was the correct way” she said. There should be no other way from now on. “Put the clasps in on in the front, turn the bra around so the clasps are now in the back, bend over from the waist, pull up the bra and encase the breast, positioning them, put the straps on each shoulder and then raise your torso up and reposition the straps.” She demonstrated.   It was a process and a great one.  Her mother taught her that she should wear a bra always even at night. “The better to keep gravity at bay and keep those babies up.”  She used to sew darts in our brassieres to make them come up almost to a point. She also schooled her daughter with, “ and don’t let those guys hang on them”. The things her mother said sometimes shocked and thrilled her. She told it like she saw it, always,  It took Claudina years and years to appreciate that little tip.

One summer when the other siblings were visiting Cali, Claudina wanted to stow away in the vehicle and go back to Colorado with them.  Claudina felt that she maybe didn’t belong here with the Philipino Family.  Maybe she was adopted afterall.  Maybe “Your Highness” was not even her Mother.  IF James Chase was her father and since she looked mostly like the other siblings, Charles, Patricia, Morris and Norma, maybe she should be with them.  Norma and Claudina plotted it out..Claudina would just hide in the back of the station wagon.  They always made plans and carried them out.  James found her and looked her in the eyes and said “You have to stay with your Mother”.  And at a very early age, as she grew up she learned to put up a wall (and that wall got higher and higher) so they and all their hurtful words could all just bounce off of. That wall needed to be a hard rubber covered solid concrete rebar enforced wall.   They would never ever even get to me.  They were just words.  For the record Claudina wants it to be known that she worshipped her Mother.  “Your Highness was not even of this world. She was a Goddess to Claudina.  An angel even.  There were times I  swear that Claudina would just hope and pray her Moms would favor her with a smile or hug. Just  hold that baby tight .



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