Monthly Archives: October 2014

La Llorona – the Weeping Woman – Lurks by the River, Looking for her Lost Children

This is the story of La Llorona, a traditional folktale of Mexico and the American West. I have retold the story here especially for Family Field Guide readers, and of course, in celebration of Halloween. My version of the chilling tale takes place in New Mexico. It’s about a vain woman,  her unfeeling husband, and the children who are lost forever. Go ahead, say it like this: La Yourona. It means, Weeping Woman. You will not find this exact version anywhere else, because, as with all stories, one thing leads to the other, and before long, no one can tell truth from fiction.

So, here is La Llorona, the Weeping Woman herself, to tell you the story.

I was once a beautiful señorita. At the age of eighteen, I fell in love with a wealthy landowner. We married, and for several years, lived happily at his hacienda, a sprawling adobe house on the edge of the llano – the vast and windy plain. He was the patron, and like a patron saint, he welcomed travelers from far and wide, offering them food and drink and a place to rest. File:BosqueNM.jpg

But alas, we had no children. Over time, I buried my sorrow by overseeing banquets and festivals at the iglesia, the church in our village. I commissioned the most glorious gowns, and in secret, prided myself on my unspoiled figure. Mi esposo, my husband, buried his sorrow in another way. Still longing for a son after so many years, he fell to drinking at the local cantina.

Then one late October morning I heard a knock at the door.

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Turning the Tables on Expectations: What Teens Need from Parents

Expectations. We all have them. Even babies. They expect to be fed and changed. That someone will come to them in the night when they cry. How about learning to sit up, crawl and walk? All require a belief in the potentiality of things.

But when parents fail to fulfill their children’s expectations, children lose hope. Their fire goes out, and they give up on the world. mom on computer

By the time kids are teenagers, it’s often too late.

My friend “Dee” called me early one Sunday morning. Her seventeen-year-old daughter, “Hanna,” had failed to come home the night before. She hadn’t even called. “What should I do?”  Dee wailed into the phone.

So many “what ifs.”

I ran through the usual stuff: Who was her daughter with? When was she expected home?

Dee’s voice choked with anger. She suspected an older boy and was ready to pound on his parents’ door.

Divorced, Dee is one of millions of women shouldering the responsibility of parenting teens alone, kids who resent the tar out of the fact that life has handed them lemons.

But now, long last, here is Hanna on the brink of adulthood. More than ever, she needs someone to believe Continue reading