This is the hallmark of my family crest. We love to learn. We love to drink. We get our degrees and we drink. We get a raise and we drink. Yes, we drink liquor, but we don’t get drunk. It’s apart of who we are. My parents are immigrants like everyone else in this country. They got their associates degree. Then they drank some Brugal. Extra Viejo. They got their bachelor’s degree.They drank some Johnnie Walker Black with Coke. They are baby boomers. The greatest generation according to the baby boomers.
This is the catch. My mother and father spoke no English when they arrived. They learned how to but their accent is strong with flavor. They roll their r’s, cross their t’s, and dot their i’s. They learned how to speak English at Hostos Community College. It’s where they meet. This was Nueva York. This was the world’s City. It’s where you had to make it or else you were a failure in your homeland. Once you come to America you know there’s no going back. You have to be successful.
My mother loves ice skating. I still remember watching Michelle Kwan. Her grace and triple sow cow was incredible. They way she would move like a merry go round on steroids always enchanted me. Trust me, I wanted to change the channel, but she made the rules then. She feed and all that good stuff. She loved ice skating because she never seen a ice skating rink. When she grew up all she had was water and sand.Water and sand, it was too hot to be skating on ice.Imagine seeing water your whole life not knowing that it freezes and you could bachata on skates, Merengue glide, and Salsa spin. My sister was skating on ice with her white skates. My mother lived out her dreams through her.
My father loves baseball. Baseball rules his part of the island. We’re talking about Sammy Sosa, Alfonso Soriano, Tony Fernandez, and now Robinson Cano. We’re talking about hitting beans with baseball bats. It’s that type of practice of and focus. My father was a first baseman, but not a baseball player. He loves the Yankees. I remember him watching the games as if they were life or death. I always used to think it was just game. When they won he was really happy. When they lost he drank more than usual. I never understood this seesaw ladder of emotions until I became old enough to understand. It was more than the game.
This is the game my family plays. We are intelligent drinking individuals, who are open to new experiences. I talk to my parents in English. They speak back in in Spanish. We understand each other. My sister ice skates. I roller skate. My sister was a third baseman playing softball. I was a catcher in Little League. We both didn’t “Play Ball”.. We still all roll my R’s, cross our T’s, and dot our I’s. We’re a family.