Just like the land they came from, New Mexican moms are equal parts the best thing that ever happened to us and incredibly difficult to deal with at times. But we wouldn’t be the same chile-loving, crazy hippies we are today without them and all the lessons we learned from them.
Here’s 16 signs that you were raised by a New Mexican mother.
1. You were allowed to run wild.
After school, afternoons, weekends, summer holidays… if you weren’t doing chores, you were out of the house playing in the fields, chilling by the arroyo, heading to your friend’s house, seeing what kinds of crazy stuff you could get into. New Mexican moms weren’t about that helicopter parenting; they turned you out into the neighborhood or countryside to run, have fun, and be a kid.
2. But you also had to be in by sundown.
Because otherwise, La Llorona was gonna get you. Or worse, your mother.
3. You’re not a picky eater.
If it was on your plate, you were gonna eat it. That was not up for debate.
4. You’ve loved spicy food since Day 1.
You wouldn’t be surprised to learn that your mom mixed green chile or salsa into your baby formula.
5. Colds were solved with green chile stew.
Mexican moms have Vicks and Sprite, New Mexican moms break out the family recipe for green chile stew and brew up an extra strong batch that will burn that cold right out of your body. It’s now your go-to cold treatment.
6. You always keep a clean house because of her.
Your childhood was spent with plenty of chores to help keep the house pristine, and now, as an adult, you keep your home just as spick-and-span. Not necessarily because you want it that clean, but in case she comes over unannounced and scolds you.
7. You know that biscochitos are the best Christmas cookies.
Sorry, sugar cookies. These cinnamon, anise, and lard beauties are the real MVPs.
8. And nothing will ever be as good as your mother’s cooking.
You would fight your own best friend if they disagreed with you that your mom’s tamales are the best in the world.
9. You’ve tried a little bit of everything.
You did it all. She had you in soccer, basketball, or volleyball. You were in orchestra, art class, debate. Horseback riding, swimming, you name it. You went through enough after-school classes and summer camps to truly be a jack of all trades. Because she wanted you to be well-rounded and try new, interesting things (and also because she wanted to get you out of the house.)
10. You know who Joe Hayes is.
The man, the myth, the legend. You had a shelf-full of his books and you have many happy memories of summer evenings spent at his readings. Even today, you could probably still recite “The Day It Snowed Tortillas” perfectly from memory.
11. You always use sunscreen.
The golden rule. If you came home with a sunburn, you were going to GET IT.
12. Your inheritance will include turquoise jewelry and throw-over shawls.
You know the ones.
13. You prefer comfy but stylish clothes over the latest trends.
New Mexican moms know how to be fashionable and comfortable at the same time, a true feat, so you took a page from your mom’s book and now have a closet full of gypsy skirts and loose, billowy blouses.
14. You probably believe in some New Age, hippie stuff.
Saging the house, opening your chakras, meditation, yoga. Whatever it was, your mom was into it.
15. Your education was all over the place.
You either went to one of those strict religious schools where they have daily Mass or an alternative education school where there were no real grades, you talked about your feelings a LOT, and went out into the woods for activities. Either that, or an NM public school. Or you rotated through all three and it really messed you up.
16. You can make a mean margarita.
A coming-of-age lesson passed on from mother to child.