My Mother’s Name is Maria Ortiz.

By: Jelani Ortiz
Winner, 2015
Grades 4 to 6 Division
Kelly Miller Middle School, 6th Grade

My mother’s name is Maria Ortiz. She is very important to me for so many reasons. My mom and I used to spend a lot of time together. We used to play outside but now we can’t. We used to spend a lot of time talking to each other but now we only have moments. My mom works as a janitor and comes home at eleven in the evening every weekday. When she is at work, she is on her feet most of the time to clear tables, clean bathrooms and empty trashcans. Sometimes she gets injured. On two occasions, my mom fell down when she was working. My mom works so hard so that I can have a better future. She always tells me to be focused at school and do my work, so that I can have an opportunity to go to college. She values hard work, and so do I, but I don’t think its fair that I never get to see her on a consistent basis.

I usually see my mom for one hour a day. When I wake-up, she is cleaning the kitchen and making breakfast. By the time I come home from school, she is at work and don’t see her until the next morning. Not seeing my mom affects me because I don’t have a lot of memories of us together. When I see other children spending time with her mom, I feel jealous and sad. Sometimes it seems that other children don’t appreciate the time they spend with their mom. I would love to spend a whole day at home talking to my mom and watching television with her.

One of the qualities that helps me to deal with the situation is that I am very responsible. When my mom is not there, I always do what she wants to me do. I don’t need reminders to do my homework, and I always make sure I do my chores such as clean the bathroom. I don’t add any stress to my mom’s life.

Another quality that helps me to deal with the situation is my thoughtfulness. My mom has severe arthritis; so on the weekends when I see my mom, I put ice packs on her knees where it hurts. She sometimes gets brutal headaches that can be debilitating and has a hard time sleeping because of the pain so I try to help her as much as I can. I also make her coffee to make sure that she is happy.

There isn’t really a way to bring fairness to the situation. It’s not practical for my mom to work less, because we need the money. Sometimes life is not fair.