“How Embarrassing!” Friend, Jan. 2016, 34–35
Silverio was standing in the toy aisle when his Mom called him. “Sí, mamá?” He walked over to her.
“Could you please take this eye shadow to the cashier and ask how much it costs? And ask if it comes in green, please,” she said in Spanish.
“Oh, sure.” Silverio picked up the eye shadow, looked at it for a second, and then hid it in his hand. He didn’t want to be seen carrying makeup around the store.
Even though his family had been in the United States for most of Silverio’s life, Mom still had a hard time with English. She tried to learn, but sometimes the words wouldn’t come out. Sometimes Silverio wished he didn’t have to help her.
When Silverio reached the cashier, he held out the eye shadow. “Excuse me, ma’am, how much is this?” he mumbled.
The cashier stared down at him. “You want to buy eye shadow?”
Silverio pointed to his mom standing a few feet away and said quickly, “It’s for my mom.”
The cashier scanned the price. “Six dollars,” she said.
“Thanks. And … does it come in green?” Silverio felt his face turn red.
While the cashier typed into her computer, Silverio looked to check if anyone was watching him. The coast was clear. “Nope, only blue and purple.”
“Thank you, ma’am.”
Silverio hurried back to Mom and dropped the eye shadow in the cart without looking at her. “Séis dólares, y no la tienen en verde.”
“Gracias, Silverio. Is everything OK?”
He shrugged. “Yeah. No pasa nada. I’m fine.”
When they got home, Silverio went right to his room and sat on his bed. Interpreting for Mom was so embarrassing! Maybe he should tell Mom he wouldn’t do it anymore. He slumped down on his bed and sighed. No, he couldn’t do that to her. She worked so hard, and he didn’t want to let her down.
“Silverio, ven aquí por favor,” Mom called.
“Coming,” he called back.
Mom was at the table looking at old pictures of her family. “I just wanted to tell you thank you,” she said in Spanish. “I’m really grateful you interpret for me. I know it’s not easy, and might be embarrassing, but it means a lot to me.”
Silverio stared at the pattern on the rug. “Well … you do a lot for me, and I’m grateful too. You’re my mom, and I love you.” He gave a small smile.
Mom smiled back. “I love you too,” she said. “Let me share with you a scripture I like to read when I’m worried about what other people are thinking of me.”
She pulled their Santa Biblia from the shelf, turned to Colossians 3:23–24, and read from it. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
Silverio looked at the Bible and reread the words. “So whenever I help people, I’m serving Christ?”
Mom smiled. “Exacto!”