The Little Girl at the Merry-Go-Round

August 20, 2013 at 6:19 pm 7 comments


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It’s 2 pm. I’m outside our little backyard sitting on the edge of the merry-go-round that Papa bought at the flea market a month ago. He said it was a Christmas present for me and my little brother. Really? Seriously? Doesn’t he think I’m too old for it? But I guess fathers are like that. They don’t see their daughters growing up before their eyes.

Anyway, I don’t mind riding on these silly animals if I have somebody to fight them over with. As you know, kids always want what the other kids want. But there’s nobody around beside me. I’m bored and so alone. I wish my cousins Alma and Roberto were here, but they’re in El Salvador visiting family.

Papa’s home today because it’s his day off as a gardener to one rich French lady. He’s supposed to babysit us. Just after feeding us lunch, he lay on the couch beside my little brother to relax. But soon they’re both gone to la-la land with Papa’s snoring getting more and more pronounced.

Papa’s a big dreamer for somebody who can hardly read and write. He expects a better life for his children. One day, he’d see me as a teacher. Next day, he’d see me as a doctor. Still on another day, he’d see me as a lawyer even. I wish he can make up his mind. It seems to him the possibilities are endless if you live in America.

I’d like to tell him that all I wanted is to be like Aunt Rosa who works at the beauty shop and fixes nails. I think that’s really cool. Or like Mama who does laundry in a retirement home. Then again, it would certainly crush him, so I just keep it to myself. I know what keeps him going, day in and day out, doing the job that he says he hates, is the hope that me and my little brother grow up to be somebody that the whole family can be proud of for generations.

Meanwhile, it won’t be long when he opens his eyes and attends to us and entertains us and plays with us as Mama has instructed him to. I know the drill very well. The stars will converge and the planets aligned when she comes home from her errands. I don’t know why, but he has attuned himself well to the sound of Mama’s car parking outside our house. It wakes him up better than the loudest alarm clock.

I’ll share you a secret, but promise not to tell. Sometimes, I think Papa is scared of Mama. It makes sense when you consider that Papa is slightly built with curly tops. He has no chance against Mama who is heavyset with massive arms honed in through years of squeezing wet clothes back in the old country.

I do love him, though. He’s the best Papa in the world. Someday, I’d have great memories of him like sitting on his shoulders running for the ice cream truck passing by our neighborhood. On that particular day, we did miss the truck. But looking back, it didn’t really matter. It was a father and daughter moment that made the pursuit its own reward.

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Entry filed under: Blogroll, daily prompt. Tags: , , , .

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