25 July 2010

The ties that bind...

I had a wonderful time yesterday. Gina and I attended the Quinceañera celebration for her first cousin Silvia's daughter. The young lady's name is Jackeline Gómez Hernández and we call her "Jackie" for short. I have known her since she was five years old and she was such a tomboy that I have been amazed and delighted to watch her grow up to be a beautiful blossom on the tree of life. The festivities began at the church where all of her friends and relatives joined with her in celebrating a mass in her honor. After mass she was driven all over the neighborhood in a car decked out with flowers, ribbons, and balloons and all of this time the driver (my wife Gina) was tapping out 1-2, 1-2-3 on the horn in the pattern that is sacrosanct to Mexican quinceañera celebrations...

BEEP-BEEP!
BEEP-BEEP-BEEP!


Later on her family had a big party for her in a very nice rented hall where we all danced to a live band and made merry. Suddenly the thought struck me that there are so many little girls that I once held in my arms as babies who will soon become my dancing partners at their quinceañeras. I am very happy to know all of these young ladies and their counterparts, the young gentlemen. There are many, many kids here who call me "Tio Bob" (Uncle Bob) even though we are not related. In England they have a phrase that goes "and Bob's your uncle" meaning "there you have it" or "you're all set". If you are a young person living in Irapuato, Guanajuato there is good chance that "Bob" really is your "uncle".

In the past I have been a little cranky about having to attend so many baptisms, confirmations weddings, funerals, birthday parties, anniversaries, baby showers, saints days, and novenas, etc. Now, however I am learning to realize that these things are important, especially in Mexico, because they are the little ties that hold society together. I hope that God grants me the privilege of attending many more of these events and that He blesses Jackie while HE and I both watch her leave adolescence and grow into womanhood. Wouldn't it be nice if I could dance with her daughter some day at her own daughter's quinceañera. Hmmm...I don't know. I think that might be what the test pilots call "pushing the envelope".

2 comments:

Ray Clifton said...

A toast to Tio Bob and the beautiful Jackie. May you have that dance some day.

Amanda said...

She looks so pretty and you and your wife look great. Glad you had a good time.

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.