Life can be challenging in many ways. I remember the first time I came to New York. Finding a job was hard. I did not know much English or any people whom I could ask for help in the city.
It was December. I had left my daughter in the Dominican Republic with my mother. In New York, I lived in my father’s friends’ one-room apartment. I felt lonely because I was emotionally and physically separated from my family. A year later, I found a summer job. It was then that I got married to one of my coworkers.
Everything was perfect. I stopped working when my second daughter was born. My spouse helped me do the tasks at home. He dropped off our children at school. He picked up the children from school during his break and then went back to his job after eating with us. He went with me to get the groceries and other things needed at home from the supermarkets.
My husband considered me the apple of his eye. I hardly went out. He loved me so much that he didn’t want me to do anything besides taking care of our children. I felt like I was in a golden prison. By the time I had my third child, I started to feel uncomfortable with the situation. I did not know what I could do to make any changes.
One day, during a parent-teacher conference about my third child, Sarai, the teachers gave out ESOL class flyers, and I wanted to go. The ESOL class was scheduled for after school, near LaGuardia Community College. From my house, I needed to take the Q23 bus and the 7 train. It was at the time of the H1N1 flu. My husband did not want me to go because of this.
My husband and I had a serious talk about it. He told me not to go to school and that all I needed to do was to take care of our children at home. God gave me the strength to tell him I would take care of our children at home and take them with me to my ESOL class. I felt as brave as a lion after that conversation. That situation was a challenge for me. I went to the ESOL class with my children. I packed their lunches, picked them up from P.S. 14, took the Q23 and the 7 train, and walked three blocks to the other school near LaGuardia College to get to my ESOL class.
Rosa Osorio is 39 years old. Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, she arrived in the U.S. in 2002. She attends the Elmhurst Adult Learning Center of the Queens Public Library, where her teacher is Jovito de la Paz, and the Library Literacy Center manager is Michelle Johnston. Rosa Osorio writes, “I have five children, and I work full time. I am so happy to be in this writing class. Thank you, Jovito.”