A secure attachment bond is the best foundation for life to learn healthy self-awareness, trust, and empathy for forming relationships in later life. I grew up with my mother and my two siblings in Cuenca, Ecuador. I lived my whole childhood in a very special place called Solis’ Farm, which was also a rental house. I received a lot of love, and care from my mother, neighbors, and friends. We moved out from this beautiful place when I was 16. Solis’ Farm is the sweet home which I always will remember for all the experiences and very good moments I lived there.
This colonial structure house was interesting; made of concrete, tile, and wood, it looked beautiful. My mother was the supervisor of this farm. The house had 5 studios for rent, which could be rented by a whole family. All of us had to share the 2 bathrooms, and the laundry area, but it did not have laundry machines, so we used to wash by hand. Then we hung up the clothes and was fun to see all the colors of them moving with the wind. In the front yard there was a big space, where my friends and I used to ride our bicycles, play soccer and basketball after school. On the right side of the front yard was the dining room of Solis’ family. On the left side of the front yard, there were several trees. The peach tree was the biggest. In its branches were entangled with green grape branches. Another tree that I loved was the fig tree, which had big, dark purple, and delicious figs to eat. Next to the tree was a field with alfalfa, which we cut to feed the Guinea Pigs, and rabbits that we had in the back yard.
This farm had a huge back yard, with all kind of trees and plants. It had pear, apple, peach, babaco, greengages, avocado, capuli, blackberries, passion fruit, figs trees, strawberries and nuts. The branches and leaves of the passion fruit covered the whole right fence. My oldest brother Gehovanny and I liked to walk through the fence and this plant. Sometimes we found black and big insects in its leaves, but as kids we did not care about it because was more important to get this delicious fruit to eat. My friends usually came to play with my siblings and me. War was our favorite game, running between the trees and plants, shooting with stick guns, and eating any fruit we wanted, we used to spend several hours together. In the back fence was a small house; here we had dozens of guinea pigs and rabbits. Occasionally, we sold, or ate them. This small house was built by Alberto Solis, who was the farm ‘owner and boss of my mother.
Sir Alberto as I used to call him, lived in a big apartment in the center of Cuenca. He was a tall, white and a mix of angry and sweet man, who helped my mother after she arrived to Cuenca. He was the kind of father I never had and always took care of us. Due to his wisdom he often gave us advice about life. I always respect him for being my paternal figure. When my brother broke his arm by falling from the tree, Alberto was there to take him to the hospital. Sometimes, he arrived early to the farm in order to drive us to the school. On the other hand, he was angry and sometimes lost control when we made mistakes. He was rude yelling me. “What is wrong with you, that mistake will have consequences.” He said that because one day I climbed up to the attic, when they were fixing it, then I went to my neighbor’s room and stole 5 dollars in coins. After that, I was returning to my room and I fell down into Alberto’s room. My mother climbed up to the attic and helped me to get out, but was late I already had broken that part of the ceiling. Eventually, they forgave me for that mistake. Alberto had 3 daughters and one son. They were rich and every week they had a family party. We always were in the parties because we served them. My siblings and I really were not very helpful because my mother was who really worked.
My mother got divorced when I was 6 months old and my oldest brother was 2 years old. Then she left her home town and tried to find a job in a new and unknown city. Alberto gave her the responsibility of taking care of the farm and of their tenants. My mother, Marina, always worked very hard, as a young single mother she sacrificed her freedom in order to play 2 parents roles by herself. She was worried about everything because some of the tenants were men, and they used to drink. Due to the alcohol effects they loved to argue and fight with each other, so my mother had to be mad in order to have their respect. My mother fell in love and got pregnant when I was 6, and my brother was 8. After that, she found out that man was married, so their relationship did not work. Alberto was angry, so my mother left the farm for several months. After my youngest sister Marcela was born, Alberto called my mother and asked her to come back to the farm. Then we were 3 and my mother had to take care of us by herself. She always was a lovely mother giving us love, being patient and providing us everything that she could. We never went to bed with an empty tummy, thanks to her sacrifice, love and beliefs.
As a result of all those experiences I lived through in my childhood. Soils’ Farm was the place where I developed empathy and respect for all kinds of life. Those unforgettable moments playing with my friends, having a normal life in spite of all the difficulty we had, it made me a happy girl. As a result, I can apply this experiences with my 3 girls, taking care of them, and allowing them to enjoy life in the correct way as kids. Sir Alberto also taught me a lot, I learned from him that it is not necessary to have the same blood to take care of another with love and true commitment. He died when I was 17, but I always remember him with love and respect. Furthermore, I learned from my mother that if you work very hard and never stop, every sacrifice in life will pay off. I love my siblings and mother and I will always take care of them in the same way they have been taking care of me.