Childhood

I had a glass tea set that my mother once bought me. It was purple and I cherished it like a million dollars. Friends would come over and I would insist they not touch my favorite tea set. Only one could place her hands on such beauty of a teapot. Before my mother’s late night work shift, we would sit at the table. Biscuits and arabic tea, my mother would play tea party with me. I would skip to the kitchen and grab the pieces, and set up for my new date. She would pour the tea and teach me how to sip like a lady would. We would chat about dreams and wonders. I would tell her stories of what I wanted to be when I grew up. Of course it would range from an animal lawyer to an ice skater. And she would tell me that I’d be the best animal lawyer ice skater out there. Her perfume. Oh how it slid through my nose with a sudden rush. That smell, of violets and lavender. She wore every night as we layed in her sheets, drifting into a lifeless sleep. Her hand petting my hair. Curly and wavy tundra of Puerto Rican hair. Warm. She lays next to me, her warmth overtaking my breath. She would sing me to sleep with poems and songs, although her voice cracked and she was no Whitney Houston. Her voice. It was the sweetest rhythm I would ever hear. She would sing me to sleep with her daily night song, “Go to sleep my little angel, go to sleep my little love.” I would drift into a world of unknown, dreaming of faraway islands in the horizon and horseback riding. Oh how I loved horses. The way their chocolate skin glistens in the hot sun. Their eyes full of sadness and curiosity at the same time. As a little girl I would sit in the grassy fields of Vermont awaiting the horse to build courage enough to come to me. And we would stand there. From two different worlds and feel peace. I would laugh and run around as the Arabian stallion skipped through the weeds just to be close to a new friend. Animals. I was always a sucker for them. The way their innocence is illuminated from every part of their furry skin. I was in peace all those years I played with my friends dogs, as we cuddled on the floor. I would dream no fairytales of owning a zoo, but simple wonders like coming home from my 9 to 5 job to find my husband and kids awaiting me with our family dog racing to meet me at the door. Jumping with excitement as I petted him and grabbed a frisbee to play catch. I know it was much to ask but I asked for a dog almost every christmas. Holidays. My favorite time of the year. Yearly traditions of cheerfulness; I would rush home from school and find a tree in the living room, naked with just the branches to demonstrate its dignity. I would pull out the bins of bells and glass ceramics awaiting their chance to be put on the mighty tree. Red ribbons and green stockings on our fireplace. I would build the Christmas town of ice skaters and children, with my fake snow of cotton. The snow felt so real to me those days, and it was as white as a cloud I had snatched from the sky. While Christmas seemed great when I received presents, it was the moments I walked home from school in the slush, and mud, Shoes soaked in the winter bliss, to open my door and find that tree with lights that lit up the whole room, the fireplace glistening with warm fire, and hot chocolate awaiting me on the table. I love how peaceful it was during Christmas time. Like a realm of somewhere afar where all of our daily struggles would evaporate as the first snowflake touched the ground. And all the kids were always in bliss when snow days came and we all were relieved of our school duties. School. I always loved school. The routine of getting up in the morning with my books in hand, after reading one of Mrs. Squeteri’s assigned books of children stories and adventures like my favorite books like Matilda and Fantastic Mr, Fox. Stories and stories unfolding this realm of another life, I would lose myself in the lines of the pages. Drifting into this unusual world of mine where I could imagine myself in those stories. Walking and shaking the hands of the characters that I was eager to be like. I loved school for giving me those moments where I felt I could fly. Not literally fly, but feel like I could. As if anything could happen, just like those characters in the Magic Tree House books who would vanish into thin air and wake up in lands of dinosaurs and mammoths. I loved school with all my heart. But most of all when 3 o clock hit and I would rush outside to greet my brother. His broad shoulders and crooked glasses, 10 years apart from me, he would wave his hands in the air so i could find him in the crowd of first graders. And there he was, i looked up to him and he would hug me endlessly and then we would walk to the bodega and grab my favorite swedish fish candy and slowly drag ourselves home.When I got home, my mother would yell at my brother for buying me candy as she set the table for dinner. My brother would grab his basketball and I would grab my soccer ball and roller blades and jumprope, anything I could find in the moment. We would spend countless afternoons outside as the sun set, playing all types of sports and racing. My brother would bet his change of pennies and quarters for every score I won. And I would be thrilled when I got home to show my parents.My dad would jump up in thrill, almost exxagerating and I would call him silly. We would eat dinner, and I would await my mother’s famous pumpkin pie and whipcream. With our stuffed bellys, we would navigate to the living room to watch a movie. Ofcourse, it was always a movie of my choice. My father could recite word for word from the movie Lion King and he would hold me as I cried my eyes out when Mufasa died. But whenever my entire family sat together in the living room, I insisted on watching The Grinch who Stole Christmas a hundred times, even when it was summer outside. And I would fall asleep in my father’s arms and with one eye slightly open, he would pick me up and bring me to my bed. My mother would come and tuck me in like a burrito, with my legs and arms tucked in like a caterpillar. And my father would kiss me on the forehead and my mother would make sure to close my window so i wouldn’t get sick. I was asleep and dreaming of wonders of the stories I read and the movies I ventured off into.

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