How I’m Teaching My Son About My Brazilian Roots


My Brazilian roots have become even more important since becoming a mom. As a kid, I lived in London, Rio de Janeiro, and New York. Experiencing all of these different cultures helped broaden my perspective. I want Julian to have the same luxury, despite the fact that he lives in LA. Here are a couple of ways we keep his Brazilian side alive:

1. He knows the importance of family. My family is extremely close knit. My sister, Bella, has a 9-month-old son and lives five minutes away from me. My parents also live in Los Angeles. We see each other on a daily basis. Julian is constantly surrounded by people who love him so much. This is very, very Brazilian. We are all in each other’s business and we love each other unconditionally. We also FaceTime and Skype with his Brazilian side of the family nearly every week.

2. He enjoys Brazilian food. When I moved from Rio to New York (at age 10), I gave my mom a lot of grief because she wouldn’t pack me a “traditional” lunch of peanut butter and jelly. Instead, she sent me off to school with rice and beans, vegetables, and chicken. Twenty years later, this is exactly how I feed my son. In fact, when Julian turned a year old, we served brigadeiros and quindim, in addition to birthday cake at his party. Maybe one day he will give me the same grief I gave my mom!

3. We listen to Brazilian music. I love playing old Brazilian folk songs for Julian. I sing songs to him that remind me of my childhood growing up in Rio. Singing “Happy Birthday” to Julian in Portuguese is one of the easiest ways to get him to crack a smile.

Photo: Jordana Brewster/Instagram