Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mami's Lessons: Bath Time

Mami taught her three little girls
that a good bath and some cremita
on legs, knees, elbows and face
were most important
no matter where you were going
or what you were going to wear.

The three en la tina,
the oldest, self-conscious, trying to hide behind a washcloth
the middle one, talkative and entertaining
the youngest, quiet, fearful of the water in her eyes
tired mami
washed their long black hair
the water often way too hot for young skin
buckets of soapy water poured over their heads to rinse out the shampoo
Hold your breath! Too late,
coughing and sputtering
and getting yelled at for exagerando

Three in line, wrapped in thin towels
dripping on the floor, shivering
exhausted mami
squeezed creamy yellow Vaselina into their outstretched hands
reminding them about all the parts they should not overlook

Waiting for her quick hands to detangle, comb, and braid
three sweet-smelling little girls in softly faded pajamas
got ready their camitas
put the day’s clothes in the ropa sucia
and located fuzzy sleeping partners.
Neat parts down the middle of their scalps,
wet pony-tails or trenzas
scrubbed pink cheeks tilted toward their
loving mami
who kissed them sweetly and
pulled the covers up around them.
“Goodnight, mis hijitas.”

1 comment:

Lana Banana said...

amiga, you brought such a huge smile to my face with this post . . .

especialmente con la "vaselina" . . . my mom swears by vaseline, and i don't mean vaseline brand lotion, i mean vaselina . . . clear, slightly sticky, yellow tub . . . she used to put that stuff on everything from cuts to scrapes to scars . . . todo!

mmm, i miss my mom.

hope you had a wonderful week!