Cling, clang, cling, clang, I feel the wind on my face.
Cling, clang, cling clang, I can fly through the clouds like a bird.
Cling, clang, cling clang … –
-“Get down from that hammock you lazy girl!” Yells my cousin Jose as he runs into the room. “Come on and help me to get down some boxes from the closet, grandpa needs some materials. He is going to teach us how to build kites!
-“And why don’t you do it yourself?” I replied. “You always want me to do what you say.”
-“First, because I’m older, and second because I’m going to hold the stool, so you don’t fall.”
With a bit of weariness for the interruption, but excited for the kites project, I get down from the hammock and get up on the stool that my cousin Jose is holding. I stretch as much as possible to reach out the box when I feel an intense burning in my legs. The stool moves abruptly from the shock that gives me severe pain, and I scream like crazy: mom, mom!
My mom comes running into the room with her well-known question: “What happened now?” – “Jose stuck the teeth of that shark jaw in my legs!” I reply.
– “What a little devil you are, Jose! How dare you hurt your cousin? Don’t you see that she is a little girl?” Says my Chichi, who is about to put lemon on my wounds. My Chichi (grandma) uses lemon for pretty much everything, she says is the best-kept secret to cure everything.
– “Ay, ay!”, I scream when the lemon acid drops get into my skin. “Oh, oh it hurts!”
– “Stop laughing, kid!” My chichi tell my cousin, “this is not funny at all. You can’t go to the beach with your cousins to fly kites! “- “But Chichi!” Jose moans while his mother takes him away pulling him off by his ear. After resting awhile, I feel better. I decide to go with grandpa to the porch where he is sitting in his white rocking chair, and a table full of wooden sticks, yarn, and colored tissue paper awaits.
My cousins are sitting around him cutting paper and entangling the thread in the sticks. My grandpa is concentrated giving directions: “The most important thing is to put the bridle right. Otherwise, it won’t fly straight”, he says with much conviction. I find myself concentrating cutting paper when Chichi arrives with the cooked cornstarch that we are using as glue still warm from the heat of the stove. I like the smell of it, I wonder if tastes good. Chichi seems to guess my thoughts and tells me: “Do not even think about trying it girl, you surely will get worms in your belly if you eat it!”
Sitting on the floor, I think that my kite will be blue like the sky and will dance with the wind. I am so concentrated and happy doing my tasks that I do not realize when my cousin Jose sits next to me and with his naughty little smile he asks me: “Does it hurt no longer, weeping girl? ”
-” Leave me alone! I’m doing my kite, or I tell my aunt to punish you again.”I tell him.
– “Come on, don’t be like that!” Still laughing, he turns his attention to making his red kite.
After an hour of hard work, my cousins and I are ready with our kites. However, my aunt Gilda tells us that we can not leave if we have not had lunch. All excited we sit at the table eating the beans and pork she prepared as quickly as possible. We stuffed in the beans and tortillas, and almost choked on the horchata drink.
-“We are ready, we are ready!” We all chant in one voice.
-“Wait a moment kids,” says my uncle, Joaquin. “We will kill two birds with one shot and will also play baseball!.” He grabs the bat and the balls and decides to take the older cousins with him while my mom and grandpa take me, my little brother, and my little cousins to fly kites. Jose hesitates, trying to choose. In the end, he decides to do both, as, according to him, he is the best player on the team.
Once on the beach, we are ready to fly the kites. Grandpa wants to set the example. As tall as he is, he stretches to let go of the thread and skillfully gives two little twitches and lifts it in the air. His kite is a yellow pentagon with a rainbow tail. I see him from a distance. He seems like a giant wearing a silver hat to me. For a moment I see my mom looking at him, and I imagine her as a child running and playing with him on the beach. I can hear my cousins laughing, I see them running as fast as they can from base to base, so they won’t burn their feet with the hot sand. The kites illuminating the sky, my brother running after me trying to reach my blue kite and my mother sitting looking out to the sea with grandpa next to her. Stop! I freeze the scene: I save this moment forever.
As the sun goes down, the sky turns orange and violet. Is time to leave, it’s getting chilly.
My brother walks away with short, quick steps behind mom, holding his green bucket full of shells and snails. My cousins are running like crazy because everyone wants to get back first to enjoy their french toasts with butter and sugar and their chocolate drinks.
I stay behind, walking with Grandpa. Almost at home, he asks me if I had a good time this month if I enjoyed the beach and if I am ready to go home to Dad in the City. I say “no, I like the beach more, even though my cousin Jose bothers me all the time.”
Suddenly he looks tired; I do not see him as a giant from a while ago, I feel his hand on mine, so big, so warm. When I arrive, I take my chocolate drink, nothing like ending a good day with a cold chocolate drink. My legs do not hurt anymore, I just feel my face sunburned by the sun and my body exhausted from such an exciting day.
Cling, clang, I feel the wind on my face.
Cling, clang, I am flying through the clouds.
Cling, clang, little by little I go lulled by the swing of the hammock, I close my eyes, and I think, “there are no holidays like the ones at the beach house!.”