Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. Every March, the Slice of Life Challenge is a month-long experience where Slicers post every single day for the entire month. I'm joining in on the monthly challenge this year! For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here.
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I thought it might be fun to share
some things that have been or are part of my life
because my mom is from Guatemala.
I'm going to do my best to translate...
but I should warn you, the rhymes don't really work in English.
One of my favorite memories is of my mom and Mamita singing songs to us. My cousin's daughter turned one last year and I love listening to my mom and aunt sing songs and nursery rhymes to her because it brings back great memories. My favorite was always:
Los pollitos dicen pio pio pio
Cuando tienen hambre, cuando tienen frio
The little chickies say, cheep, cheep, cheep
When they are hungry, when they are cold
We always hard corn tortillas in the house. My mom would warm them up and roll them up to eat with dinner or she would melt cheese between two tortillas for us.
I loved watching Topo Gigio. He was a little mouse puppet who was so sweet and funny, full of personality and completely adorable. I have memories of him as much as Sesame Streeet and Mr. Rogers.
If I ever had a scrape or a bump, my mom would rub it and tell me:
Sana, sana, colita de rana
Si no sanas hoy, sanaras manana
Heal, heal, froggy's little tail
If you don't heal today, you'll heal tomorrow
When we lost something, my mom prayed to Saint Anthony. And when it was raining, she would ask Saint Isidore for sun:
San Isidro Labrador, quita el agua y pon el sol
Saint Isidore the Farmer, take away the rain and bring out the sun
And whenever we had a cough, Vick's VapoRub was always the answer, except my mom pronounces it Vick's:
Va - like open your mouth and say, "(v)Ah!"
po - like "police" and
Rub - like "ruby"
At birthday parties, we had pinatas - the kind you string up and have to hit with a stick while blindfolded. And after the Happy Birthday song, we start clapping and sing:
Ya queremos pastel, ya queremos pastel
Aunque sea un pedacito, pero queremos pastel
Now we want cake, now we want cake
Doesn't matter if it's a little piece, but we want cake
Whenever Guatemala was on television, my mom would call us over to watch singers and marimba players. Any time she came back from a trip, she would show us pictures and videos and tell us all about Guatemala. I'm glad my mom is so fiercely proud of her country because even though I've never been, I have all these wonderful memories.
At the end of last school year, our district Mariachi Club performed. The instruments filled the auditorium and soon the audience was alive, swaying back and forth and singing along to Cielito Lindo.
Ay, ay, ay, ay, canta y no llores
Ay, ay, ay, ay, sing and don't cry
Afterwards, one of my colleagues leaned back to ask me about the song because he wasn't familiar with it.
It surprised me. I assumed everyone knew that song.
It reminded me. I have to be careful in assuming anything.
It made me think. I need to share my stories, my experiences, my normal.
Instead of assuming, what if we all shared what we know?
Instead of judging, what if we all listened to others' perspectives?
Sharing these memories feels really good. I'm so happy to have them as my own but sharing them feels even better. We all have memories we cherish, but how much richer could the world be if more people shared their stories and were open to listening?
To read my previous Slice of Life posts, click on any link below: