This morning all seemed to go as clear and graceful as the day that was brought upon us. Girls cooperated with their morning routines and were even ready 15 mins early. “YES!!!! I will be making it to work early today”.
Enter drop off moment. We walk in, say our good mornings, wash hands, put all articles away in the cubbies. They sit down and I serve them breakfast. Glance at my watch and wow I’m truly on point this morning. Hugs and kisses to one and hugs and kisses to the next, but wait!!!!! She won’t let go of my sweater. OK mommy loves you both and daddy will pick you guys up today.
And the water works begin. Lower myself to her level and reassure her mommy loves and you’re going to have a wonderful day today. No NO No NO! Please stay, or can I please go to work with you. Now this went on for 25 minutes and there was no reasoning with her as there is no reasoning with any 4-year-old. Negotiations, options, hugs, kisses and speaking; were all failed attempts on my behalf, but her guilt trip on me was definitely winning. “Mommy you’re breaking my heart, because you’re not understanding me”. How do I compete with that? How do I bounce back and try to even win this one? Continue reading
Small, large, black, grey, colors, and patterns- all tell a story of your desires, passions, loss, or present moments. Strategically placed, thought out, and designed for your blank canvas.
That moment of vulnerability when the artist peeks, ponders, and judges your blank space. Making your thought and his art a permanent feature on you.
The machine turns on, the needle is dipped into the black ink, your body’s adrenaline starts to kick in, blood quickly flowing, pain, anxiousness, are all rolled into one.
It was the summer of 1986; my brother and I were spending the entire summer in the Dominican Republic between relatives, in particular with great-grandma. Our first morning was the start of our humbleness. We had asked great-grandma to give us cereal for breakfast. Of course all Spanish people call every brand, and make of cereal, cereal.
Our uncle had not returned from milking the cows, because of this great-grandma decided to let us feed the hens and roosters. A while later from a far distance we see our uncle coming with the milk pales. We could hardly contain ourselves, and after feeding the hens and roosters, she called us into the dining area. It was the biggest bowl of cereal I had ever seen in my life. I thought I was going to be eating the whole dinner salad by myself, but wait! The bowl had smoke coming out of it.
Once she placed the bowl down my brother and I looked at each other with the biggest blank look known to man kind. We had just seen the breakfast ghost. What happened to our honey combs? We felt so betrayed, especially by the cereal company. How could they let this happen?
The bowl consisted of hot smoking white milk and wheels of yellow plantains. As much as we wanted to leave this nightmare of a breakfast behind us, we did not dare get up or question the idea. Instead we prepared our selves and eat every single bite. First by blowing the white hot milk and then scoping up a spice of steroid induced, wannabe honey combs, guiding the spoon to mymouth as I held my breath and every time there after.
The next morning we planned to awaken earlier, but to no avail she beat us to the kitchen and had already prepared breakfast for us. With her smile from ear to ear she tells us that my mother had informed her that we loved cereal for breakfast, and being we eat all of her special cereal she would now be preparing it for us for breakfast. Great, now we are taking place in an episode of the Twilight Zone, but who’s going to rewrite the script to this horrible cereal ordeal.
Two weeks later and probably 10lbs heavier from all that protein and fiber, we finally left great-grandma’s house. We felt such a relief; there was no way we could continue to have Dominican cereal as she called it. We could not wait to have something different at our aunt’s home in the City. The next morning we decided to sleep in later, now that we did not have feed any animals or wait for the milk to be fetched and boiled. Finally our aunt calls us for breakfast. As we sat in our respectable chairs, we could not believe our eyes.
The Dominican cereal made its way from the country side to the city in the matter of a sun rise. My brother’s eyes looked as if they belonged to an owl, while my expressions were not hard to miss. We were in so much disbelief that, I decided to ask my aunt what was this? Her reply was so simple, as if she had rehearsed it, replying great- grandma told her and the rest of our relatives that this happens to be our favorite cereal.
Breakfast after breakfasts we started to believe that there must have been a conspiracy against us, or we were just crazy. The only consolation prize was the fact it did not taste horrible it actually tasted great. Though it was just wrong; cereal should be enjoyed with cold milk and has that crunchy noise indicating the authenticity of this American cereal.
After a summer vacation that turned into a three year hiatus, we could no longer remember what American cereal was like. We were so hooked or brain washed that we only wanted Dominican cereal. For the first week after we arrived back to the US, we continued our great- grandma’s breakfast trend setting, until the second week. We accidentally rediscovered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; needless to say it was all over.
Today as adults we love reminiscing about that 1986 summer that turned into a hiatus. Our first thought has always been the Dominican cereal that followed us from the country side to the city and the rest of our time spent in the Dominican Republic.
Its 6:30 am outside the air is thin, crisp, pure and faithful to its winter morning. The evening past has brought upon more snow, which now travels lightly through the sky giving the illusion that it may still be snowing. The City seems so pure full of white flakes that have vanquished all wrong doings and has given it a new canvas for tourist to dream upon.
After looking out the window for hours Ethan decided to get dressed and brave this new and exciting place. He looked at himself in the mirror with his eye’s peeking out from under his bluish hat. On his way out he looked into the mirror towards the left of the door; it was if Spider-man was standing in front of him. Taking a second look underneath all the wrapping Ethan could only see his ocean blue eyes. He barely recognized the image reflecting back at him. Out he went trenching through the snow he could not believe how beautiful it all seemed.
So many people filled the sidewalks, laughter sidewalks laughter, screaming, beeping; cars and people alike everything and everyone seemed to be part of the Indy 500 going at the same pace … fast. Ethan on the other hand wanted to enjoy the scene.Following in the footsteps of the typical tourist that visits New York City; Ethan took pictures of every major attraction in hopes of keeping this memorable visit vividly in the present. Block by block snap by snap he admired and recorded his new memories. His mouth began to salivate as he slightly inhaled the aroma of fresh brewed coffee. D & D lured him.
As the sky had started to change colors Ethan couldn’t help to simply stop and watch the sky go from orange to red to an orangy-red color, eventually a navy blue color set in to greet the evening. Turning on to 42nd Street was as if he had sketched himself into the brochure the travel agent had given him. All the lights around town shine so bright and so proud; it’s just like the pictures in his brochures. Suddenly Ethan is pushed out the way retracting him from the brochure. He turns around quickly only to be met by a swarm of people rushing to catch the train. Ethan’s heart began to pump faster and faster, his hands felt clammy, while his thoughts were all jumbled up. He could not believe how everyone disappeared so quickly into the tunnel. Back home he could only witness this by watching movies. Moving out of the oncoming pedestrian’s way he lowered his scarf to take a few breaths and quickly covered his mouth. For a brief moment he felt disoriented, until he found Toys“R”Us shifting him back to the brochure. But it was all forgotten as the neon lights began to shine for miles. The yellow cabs were here hailed and full of people traveling up and down the avenue, as Chicago O’Hare’s airport during the holiday seasons. That just doesn’t seem to die down.
In and out the stores he went looking for items to take back home. The streets and sidewalks were still busy; as he turned down a block he noticed people dressed in their Sunday clothes as his mom would say back home, rushing and making lines to enter the theaters. Two blocks down were street vendors painting caricatures for passerby; he decided to have one made to remember his trip.
After hours of walking and sightseeing, Ethan decided to make his way back to his rented room to
unload. He poured himself a glass of red wine, took off his boats, and sat down by the window. Sipping from the glass of wine, he glanced out the window to admire the path that he had traveled. Suddenly small, gentle, light body white flakes begin to take over the City once again. The sidewalks tried to stay uncovered, but to no avail; the cement was no longer a challenge for the snow. Ethan looks at the clock on the table it’s 10:25 pm. He continues to stare out the window as a new canvas is created for the next tourist to dream upon. Before turning in, he wrote in the guest book, which had been left by his bed side to sign by all guests. In it he wrote: to the City that gives blank canvases for all to dream upon.