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What defines home? Is it a place? A specific place? There’s a persuasive “Spanish” influence that’s been omnipresent in my life. Part of that, is, no doubt, due to simple geography. At one point, where I was born and lived, was colonized as New Spain. While both France and Spain laid claim to this land, it eventually wound up in as a country then a state.

So there’s that ever-present “hispanic” influence. I have two similar tales, maybe only one bears repeating, about immigrant children who made good. “Alex” was born in the US, so he’s a citizen. I think his parental lineage was little murky as to origins, might have been damp, if not wet. Don’t know, didn’t inquire. Alex’s son graduated college, prestigious private school. Masters in Business, I believe. And with one semester to go, then Alex’s boy suddenly longed for his Spanish roots. Mexican roots, really, and that was worth something.

At his son’s request, Alex never taught the kid Spanish and it wasn’t spoken at home from age two onward. Alex is fluent in both. Not that it matters, I recall, Alex on the truck, peppering his conversation with choice epithets in Spanish, or better yet, that special border patois.

His kid did graduate. And now his kid has to learn Spanish to compete in the marketplace. It’s almost a requirement.

It’s a long way around, but the Spanish – or Mexican – influence is ever present. It’s part of what defines “home.”

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