A New York Summary: Part 9 of 10

Being my youngest cousin, José Miguel is also the only one born in the Dominican Republic post 1982. Like many of the cousins before me, Miguel grew up in DR and has only recently moved to New York where he is experiencing the hardships of city life, the English language, and the displacement of not knowing where you are or where you're going.

Being that I had only just met José Miguel on my visit to New York I did not know what to expect of him. From what I've been told he's a misbehaved tormenting brat but I did not witness this. What I did see was a good kid who was scared shitless and who, when cornered, would defend himself. José Miguel's greatest flaw is that he talks back, but considering that all the adults in my family are just as loud, can you blame him?

I was asked to accompany him on a school trip by his teacher, as he would not have been allowed to go otherwise. We went to the Bronx Zoo and he was thrilled to see all the animals. He didn't know what  many of them were called. My Spanish was severely tested as I did not know the Spanish names for these animals and speaking to him in English was a lost cause. His teacher (who speaks no Spanish) sat with me and explained all the bad things he's done. I went into parent mode and asked for the proof, a lot of what he has gotten into trouble for is he said, she said and since José Miguel speaks no English he is unable to defend himself. I'm sure he has gotten himself into some trouble (what seven year old doesn't) but I felt it was unfair to always make him the scapegoat.

Spending time with José Miguel I realised what it must have been like for my older cousins and brothers who emigrated to New York in their early teens. I don't understand how anyone could have expected any better of them. 

José Miguel and his father, Miguel Angel, live with my mother in New York. My uncle has been unable to find work and though the real reason is the language barrier and his fear of getting lost, he uses the child as his excuse. There has been a threat of sending José Miguel back to DR until his father can better situate himself. I do not know what it's like to emigrate with a child to a country where you have few prospects so I can not pass any judgement. All I can do is hope that José isn't sent back to DR. Not because he won't be happy there (I'm sure he would enjoy the familiar sights, being able to play in the street, and to have friends that understand him) but I don't think the move back and forth would be good for him. I know it wasn't good for me.
A New York Summary: Part 9 of 10 A New York Summary: Part 9 of 10 Reviewed by Christópher Abreu Rosario on 05:30 Rating: 5

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