Tag Archives: presents

Holá, José

After a day and a half of driving (well, mostly it was Mom driving and me sleeping in the car), we finally arrived at my sister’s – and nephew’s – doorstep. It was finally time for me to meet my nephew, José. I’d talked with him on the phone a few times, even Skyped with him. But soon I would see him in the flesh. My desire to hug him was already overwhelming, though I knew to wait for him to come to me. When my mom went down to Colombia to help out Jess, it took José a couple of days to warm up to abuela. (It didn’t take so long with abuelo – my father – but we figured that was because he’s also a dude.)

So, when he greeted me at the door and then ran away, shrieking happily, I didn’t take offense. Jess was there to give me a big hug, which I always enjoy. Right away, José was eager to show me all the surprises he and Jess had for me. First, there were presents. Of course, if there’s a kid around presents, it doesn’t matter who they’re for, the kid should be the one to open them. So I asked him to help me open them and even though he’d help Jess wrap them, he still acted surprised at what was inside. Everything was from his birth country: a journal, a mug, and a purse with Colombia’s flag colors on it. He tried to put the purse on my head like a hat, unsuccessfully.


José looks over the coloring pages.

Being an aunt, I had presents for him and Jess as well. José received a Thomas the Tank Engine, coloring pages drawn by my friend Burt, and many books, including one that he and Jess had read down in Colombia. He recognized it right away and made a happy noise. Jess’ presents were a little less exciting but much more sentimental. One was a picture frame I’d made with the word “family” in big letters and the “gotcha date” stamped on it. The picture I put inside the frame was the first picture that Jess had sent me from Colombia, the two of them grinning to finally be with their family. Her other present was a set of watercolor paintings done by my friend Veruca, who is married to Burt. I’d commissioned her to make a watercolor map of José’s hometown. As a surprise, she also made a watercolor map of José’s new hometown. I framed them and Jess hung them up in the living room. They look great and I enjoy seeing them every day!

Even though José kept asking for mas, there were no more presents, but there was another surprise in store for me. I followed him into the kitchen where he showed me the torte he and his mama made together. We all sat down and had a slice. Yummy!


José lets me hold him as abuela laughs at his adorable smile.

The next few days went by in a blur of playing, laughing, and being utterly exhausted. I knew that new moms got tired a lot; I didn’t know that new aunts did, too! By my third night, I passed out on the couch as Jess put José to bed. I slept for 12 hours that night and felt as if I could have slept even more.

We all went to the pool one day and abuela and I played with him while Jess took a well-deserved and much needed nap in the sun. He doesn’t know how to swim yet, but he knows how to hold his breath under water and kicking his legs. He likes to be submerged in the big pool, but is too scared to go by himself (he refuses to use the floaties). But that first day we were at the pool together, he let me hold him as I walked around the pool. He clung to me but he had a huge grin on his face and I relished in the time I got to hold him. I also got to sneak in a kiss. It meant so much to me that even after not knowing me for very long, he trusted me enough to let me carry him through the “scary” water.

And here’s our first family photo with Tia Liz (notice the creepy abuelo in the background?):


(left to right) Abuelo, Tia Liz, Mama, José

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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in About me, Everyday Life


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Patience is a virtue…I’ve been told

Instant gratification is not just a catchy slogan Nick-at-Nite used during all-night marathons of classic shows.  It is my way of life.  As a general rule, if I see it and I want it, then I get it.  Rest assured, my parents did not install this lifestyle in me.  They are good about shopping around, looking for the best price possible.  If it takes them a few days or a few weeks or even a few months to find the right priced item, then they’ll wait.  Fred is the same way (more so, if that’s possible).  He not only shops around, he also reads consumer reviews online.  I don’t know how they do it.  Perhaps they don’t get that overwhelming urge that I get when I see something I like.  Or maybe they’ve just learned how to push it down and ignore it.

The same concept applies for gift giving.  This time of the year is torture for me.  I’ve already done most of my holiday shopping and have the gifts wrapped and ready for giving.  But there’s one little problem: it’s still November.  I have four more weeks to wait before I can hand out the gifts.  I want to see the surprise and happiness on people’s faces now. I don’t want to wait.  A few weeks ago I broke down and gave Fred his birthday present early because I didn’t want to wait any longer (we’re talking only a few days, too).

I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember.  I have a December birthday and when I was younger, I started planning my party in June.  I’d excitedly tell Mom my ideas as she pruned the bushes, winter the farthest thing at that moment.  Every Thanksgiving I would impatiently beg to put up the Christmas tree just minutes after dinner was finished.  Despite cooking all day, Mom agreed to decorating the tree as soon as the dishes were washed.  Of course, this seemed to take a long time so I generally occupied myself with selecting the music we would listen to while erecting the fake pine.  Once the dishes were finally done, Mom hauled the tree from the basement while I carried the lighter boxes of ornaments.  Generally, I started off helping but then got wrapped up in the Christmas books (that silly Amelia Bedelia!  Date cakes aren’t made from a calendar!) while Mom did the grunt of the work.  To cook all day, do all the cleaning, and then the grunt of the work for something I wanted took, I imagine, an abundance of patience.*

*This is one of the reasons why I don’t want to have kids.  I can tolerate other people’s kids long enough but my patience wears thin quickly and I don’t think I could handle it 24/7.

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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in About me


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