Entries by Alisa Valdes


Music Makes Us Human

You don’t want to sit there crying like a sap in the middle of a church, but sometimes it just happens. At least, that’s what happened to me recently as I watched my ten-year-old son Alexander, a budding drummer and percussionist, perform in his first band concert. There were a few reasons for the tears. […]


Flirting with Diabetes

I make mistakes all the time. Sometimes I still eat the wrong stuff. I’m still overweight. I am clearly a work in progress. The good news? I am progressing, and I want you to come with me. We will make great strides. We will work ourselves into shape. We will change each other’s lives for […]


Am I a Helicopter Mom?

A recent development made me wonder whether I’m a helicopter mom. My son spent an entire week at The Cowboy’s ranch in the lead up to Christmas. It was the longest unbroken time we’d all spent together, and some remarkable changes were apparent in my son. For example, where Alexander once insisted he would always […]


Bizcochitos a lo Nuevo Mexicano

Growing up in New Mexico, I was immersed in a unique mainstream culture that was strongly rooted in Spain and old Mexico. Everyone in the state, regardless of their ancestry, shares in these time-honored and beloved traditions. I have vivid memories of my maternal grandmother, whose ancestry was completely Irish, making red chile, posole and […]


Divorce Dilemma: Choosing Between Mom and Dad

A common divorce dilemma is when a child has to choose between Mom and Dad. Back when I was married to my son’s father, I was able to play a role as a buffer between the two. If my son’s father made a decision I didn’t agree with regarding our child, I could step in […]


My Son Worries He’s Getting Fat

What to do when your son worries he’s getting fat? My son has begun to come home from his weekends with his father terrified of certain foods. Fattening foods, mostly. Unhealthy foods In a country where childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years, and where one in three Latino children are obese (according […]

Teaching Boys to Cook and Clean

I’m teaching my son to cook and clean. While this might not sound outrageous to you, it probably would have seemed completely ridiculous to my grandparents in Cuba. To them, “I’m teaching my son to cook and clean” would probably have sounded a lot like “I’m teaching my son to wear lipstick and dance around […]


What to Do If Your Son Doesn’t Like Sports

Let me preface what I’m about to say with the following disclaimer: Not all boys like sports, and that’s okay. Now then. Let me continue by saying my son happens to be one of those boys who loves sports in an obsessive sort of way, and that this affliction has absolutely nothing to do with […]


Why Not all Latinas are Envious

No, not all Latinas are envious, and here’s why. It all began with a phone call. My wonderful TV agent, Cindy Mintz of Abrams Artists Agency, wanted to let me know that actress Sara Ramirez had inquired about a meeting with me. My jaw dropped. I was a huge—I mean HUGE—fan of Sara’s, and the […]