Today is the day after Christmas: Thursday, December 26. For us parents, today is still a hectic day; a day of trying clothes, running to get batteries, a lot of boxes lying around and kids running around and refusing to do anything else but play. Today is a great day to be a kid.
For us grownups, today is the day we reminisce about life and those Christmases ago, when we were kids running around the house, or in the neighborhood while our parents smiled at every little thing we did, or screamed at us because we refused to take a shower (we needed the time to play). Today we understand our parents even more, we know why they looked so tired yesterday, and continue being tired today. Helping Santa means the day will be long and the night will be not long enough.
As you all know, I have a big brother and a baby sister who is now 30 years old. When we were growing up we received all kind of presents: balls, bikes, skateboards, roller skates, video games, action figures, Legos, and so on. My greatest memories are not what we received, but the fun we had. When my sister was big enough to open her presents, she never wanted to do it alone. She walked to my room (I was maybe 10), and whispered:
“Franco, estás despierto? (are you awake)”.
“I am now, Frances”.
“Vamos a abrir los regalos (let’s open the presents)”
And I was up in no time. We walked really quiet making sure we did not wake my parents up, something that I now understand was dumb because the door to my room made a lot of noise and so did my sister’s. After we opened the first present we looked at them amazed that we got what we wanted or something different, but still awesome. If you ask me right now about what I got those days my sister woke me up, I would say I don’t remember, really. I remember the fun on doing that.
I always shared a room with my brother so that meant we usually woke up around the same time on Christmas day (I was up first, but I considered my job to wake him up). One year, I think I was seven or eight years old, I wanted an electric guitar; it had no strings, just buttons with different melodies. I woke up, woke my brother by calling him. We checked under our beds and THERE IT WAS… the guitar. I was still dark outside, but that did not stop us. I was able to turn it on (all the way up) and just pressed one button. Can you imagine someone playing a guitar at four in the morning when everything is quiet? The noise was incredible. We were scared and we knew my parents along with the whole neighborhood, were awake. The same way I turned it on, I turned it off. I pushed the guitar under the bed and my brother and I pretended to be sleeping just when my father opened our door. That is still a funny story in my house to this day.
We grew up, and 11 years ago my brother became a father, and so did I four years later. Now it was our turn to help Santa during this season. Different times, different types of presents, and new ways to make it unforgettable. I remember when my oldest son opened one present around five years ago. It was a Spiderman suit, with muscles and all. His face, the joy I saw on him and his happiness made my day. He wore that suit all day long, and the day after that and for some more months. He grew out of it, and to this day he still asks me why did I give it away, he says I could have come up with a way to fix it so he can still use it.
Christmas was a great time for me and I know now that my parents had a lot to do with it. I try to make the same for my kids, so does my brother and my sister. What does this post has to do with being Boricua? Nothing. Today I just want to ask you to make this Christmas season a special one. Make it special for you, your family and the kids. They will never forget the happy times, and they will pass it on to their children. Until next time, cójanlo suave!