Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Some traditions..maybe.. not

You know how in some family traditions people pass down bracelets or pendant necklaces and even furniture.  Well in my family we have many traditions.  Not so much the ones I listed above but many that I'm proud to say has made me who I am.  Some of them are traditions that are passed down without purposely doing so.  Its done unintentionally.  And having hellakids... well thats just our tradition.  Four is a great number.  My mama had four. Many of my aunts had three/four.  My sister and I each have four.  And since we all have hellakids when we get together.. well.. its a big hella hella group.  And this Xmas break wasn't the first time that we traveled to Mexico with hellakids.
  My parents bravely took trips traveling to Mexico.  Many times with the 3 or 4 (depending if my baby bro Omar was born).  Sometimes we would travel with my cousins so that was about 8 kids all together (Sound familiar).  We would go visit my dads ranchito and spend days and days there.

And other times we would go to the bigger cities visiting museums, pyramids, etc..

I have this thing that comes with my age.  I don't remember a lot of things from my childhood.  Memories of events don't come often but when I see a picture I have a tingling memory flash.  So pictures are the cure to my memory.

And then I have some very few but some events the main ones that stick to my head and I remember... the way I felt, the way I looked, what it smelled like, distinctive memory of where I was... and it sticks.. This memory puts everything together. From having hellakids, to traveling with hellakids to maybe not making this a tradition to pass... but maybe it could be added to the what not to do when traveling post. 

This memory was one of our many trips to Mexico.  We were at my fathers ranchito.   It was like our playground, our open field to run, ride on horses, feed the animals, carry the animals, watch the animals (only some) "get prepared" for dinner.  It was our domain. We were aloud to go down the street to the small little house that sold ice cream and buy ourselves ice cream all day long.  Everyone and I mean everyone knew everyone.  If my mom wanted to know where we were at she just had to ask around and someone would know.  "Oh, I just saw them pass the field and they are on their way to Tio's house".  It was our safe zone and when we arrived from the next visit it was like we never left. 

And leaving.. well leaving was as big as arriving.  We would stand around the car for hours saying bye to everyone.  Once we said bye to one family then the next family would come and we would have to start all over again.

So, I think it was 1985, I was about 7 years old.  We were getting things ready in our VW van.  Packing up things in the car, getting all of the kids together all 4 plus my 4 cousins and my aunts.  We were saying bye to everyone and talking and saying bye again.  It was a whole day experience.  So instead of spending the whole day saying bye I figured I could go around the corner and play ball with my cousin while waiting for all of us to get in the van and wave goodbye.

I don't remember if I told my parents that I was around the corner but I figured that they would count heads when they were getting ready to leave.  You see with having so many kids in one place that's what we would do count heads, kind of like the scene from the Home Alone movie.  And on top of that when we would get in the car, my dad or mom would go through a roll count making sure everyone was in the car.

So 20 mins go by and I'm still playing with my cousin, 30 mins go by and I don't notice anything because remember it takes like a whole day to say bye.  45 mins go by and it doesn't phase me cause remember I'm just 7 years old.  Next thing you know it I see one of my aunts turn the corner and look at me wierd.  I looked at her and said, "what?".
"What are you doing here?" she asked. 
 "Well I'm playing two square with my prima, are they ready?" I asked.
She just gave me the look like...  what... "Mija, they left a while ago..."

and at the time my cousin was passing me the ball back.. I didn't catch it cause even though I was an awesome two-squarer, I couldn't get the words past me... they left a while ago...

I ran around the corner... and it was true... they were gone.. the mini van... the hella kids.. my family..

I ran to my aunt and wept and wept and wept... She carried to the side of the road and just held me while I was crying hysterically in her chest.  And I could hear everyone laughing everyone coming out of their house... laughing.. laughing at the thought of leaving me behind... and even though this was a place I loved... they were still gone.
And so I just cried.. not realizing that my aunt could probably drive me to were my family was at, all I could think of was that I was left and going to stay there forever.  And what seemed like forever, was not really forever but fo ra 7 year old it was.
And from what I heard how it went down when they noticed I was not in the van... it went down like this..

Dad: MOI
Dad: Marcos
Dad: Samuel
Dad: Kiko
Dad: Diego
Dad : Celena
Dad: Ceeleeena...
nothing yet again
Kiko: uh.. Tio Celena is not here..
Dad: Kiko remember I told you not to play that trick again..
Kiko..: No really Tio she is not here...
Dad: WHAT...
scccreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeccchhhhhhhh...... they turned the van around to come and pick me up.
and when they arrived...when they arrived back at the rancho everyone and I mean everyone was lined up on the main street waiting for my dad and the crew to come and pick up the forgotten one...
and they were laughing and laughing and laughing..
and I saw nothing because I buried myself to my moms chest and never let go. ..

and to this day... people remember me as the one who was left behind...

so hopefully this wont be an unintentional tradition passed on to my family but who knows.. cause when you have hellakids... hmmmmmmmm..

(Dedicated to the year 1985 when I was left behind... is number 17 top billboard hit song... on the playlist)


Gloria Ulloa Rodriguez said...

Mija - I cried and laughed at the same time the way you recounted this story. It's one that a parent will never forget and, thankfully, it ended up ok at the end. Unfortunately your poor Mama had other experiences similar to this. Let's hope by remembering your stories we will not have the same, scary experiences (well too many at least) LOL.

Gloria Ulloa Rodriguez said...

I meant "not too many".

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