Carlos shares two childhood memories about his mother.
So my mom would work Monday through Friday and the weekend was the only time that she was actually able to spend time with us. And even though she didn't have money, the only thing that she can do is take us to a department store in New York City. Back in the day when I was growing up, there, it was a store called FAO Schwartz. It was this magical store that I remember as a kid, we would go there every Saturday and we will be there for hours. We would be playing with the toys. There was a piano, there was laid on like a full piano on the floor and like go play with it or jump around. There's like huge teddy bears that we will, we will just like, you know, hug and jump on them and stuff like that. And as a kid I didn't think that nothing of it. I was like, oh, we're just with family we’re like hanging out. But as I grew up, I slowly started to realize that my mom would take us to a store knowing that she couldn't afford to buy anything in that store, but she knew that that was a way that she can allow us to be still be children.
The first protest I went to was when she went on strike. She was a union worker. She cleans offices for a living. I remember as a kid again, it was the dead of winter. All we knew that she wasn't working, but she will go to work in a different way every single day and I remember my mom is in a picket line and she's all bundled up because she's been there for hours and she has a picket basically saying that they, um, that they have to respect their contracts. We took a thermos and we had hot chocolate in it and we would just go up and down the line giving people a hot chocolate and we didn't know that that was a protest. At least I didn't know that it was a protest. I just thought like, “Oh, people are just out here making noise.” And it's funny how you remember stories and then you start adding adult logic to it. I learned very young that I should never hide from injustice and I should never not try to take up space. And this is why we take up space very visually and why we should continue to do that.