Domino Discussions

A Mother’s Love, Wisdom & Faith

MRG is a New York City Educator who reached out to La Galeria earlier this year with a simple yet powerful idea. “I have noticed the main voices missing from most interviewing platforms are Dominican voices. Those who have achieved greatness, as well as, those who just have a story to share. La Galería Magazine does a great job shedding light on some of the voices and that is why I wanted to reach out,” said MRG. He pitched the idea of a series of interviews called Domino Discussions (Dominó Discusión), where he would interview a guest over a game of dominos. “Dominos is my game of choice because it has brought out the best conversations I have ever had with family and friends.” Here is the first of many Domino Discussions.

What is the proudest your mom has ever been of you and when were you the most proud of your kids?

She was the most proud when I was the first of my brothers to start and finish college. My kids have given me so much that I have been proud on several occasions.

I have five boys, four of which have graduated from college and are working; the youngest is completing his degree now. But if you’re asking for that one thing, my proudest moment will be when I become a grandmother.

What is the most disappointed you have ever made your mom and the most disappointed you’ve been with your kids?

I decided to have kids at a young age and she thought I wouldn’t continue with school so that was disappointing for her. However, once she realized that I would finish my studies, she was ok with it. With my kids, although they have earned their college degree, I wish they could see their potential to continue with their studies and have careers that require advanced degrees like a doctor or lawyer.

Best gift you ever gave your mother for any special occasion and best gift you ever received from your children?  

My mother retired in the Dominican Republic. The best gift I ever gave her was showing up with the family unannounced to celebrate mother’s day with her. Unfortunately, I didn’t get her reaction to the surprise on video. Gifts from my children are usually a joint effort but my favorite was this year when I got a car. A brand new car, my dream color and all.

What motherhood qualities do you and your mother share?

Caring. We both care and it doesn’t matter what happens, we are always there. She is always there for me and I am always there for my kids. It doesn’t matter the situation. It is a great quality that we share.

Who is a great example of what motherhood looks like and why?

I can’t choose someone notable because I haven’t experienced them firsthand. I would have to choose my mother because when we had a little she made it a lot. If there ever wasn’t enough food to eat, we never knew that. Although we were growing up in a third world country, we never felt it so that is why I must choose her as a great example.

What is the most important lesson your mom has ever taught you and the lessons you pass on to your children?

To be kind and to love others. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have anything to give them. If you are kind, things will come your way. I pass this onto my children as well in addition to believing in God. I want them to believe in something that will offer them protection at all times and that will allow them to make it in this world.

One thing you would change on how you were raised and how you have raised your children?

I don’t think I would change the way I was raised because I had the freedom to play, enjoy myself and to be a kid. I tried to do the same thing with my kids but in this country, it’s a bit different. So if I could change anything, I would like to give them more choices, freedom, allowing them to play how they want to play, doing what they want to do. As a teacher, I recognize the structure that we give kids but I would love to provide more freedom so that they can just be kids.

What do you suggest I look for in the future mother of my children?

I think that you need someone that cares and someone who isn’t going to be selfish. They need to love others because when you have kids, there will be less personal free time and you will have to dedicate yourself to someone else. Also, someone who is loveable and kind because that’s all you really need; they embody everything and with these few things you will go very far in life.

With the summer season in mind, how did your mother spend quality time with you and how do you spend quality time with your children?

My mom and I spent most of our time together during the summer inside of our home. The home offered protection. With my children, I did it backward. My husband and I would take the kids out to play, to barbecue, to the park, and other destinations. So we now have more options but I guess the difference is in the two countries (United States and Dominican Republic) and gender. I have five boys and my husband is always there to help. Back home I would stay inside to avoid threats, but inside I had the chance to play with my family. That’s actually how I learned to play dominos, playing with my grandma and father.

@MRGSNYC is a domino enthusiast from New York City. His custom domino playing board displays his twenty-five values for the year. He loves all things Caribbean culture and is always down for some good food, drinks, dominos, and discussion.

Thank you to Awilda for her participation and the women over at New Dominican Beauty Lounge for allowing me in their space. Check them out at: 192-15 Linden Blvd, St. Albans, NY 11412



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