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Monday, January 05, 2009

The Christmas Story Part 6


That’s right, I’m not done with the Christmas story as yet. I got distracted.

You may be wondering why I haven’t posted any photos from Giessen / Annerod. It’s because I kept leaving my camera behind whenever we went anywhere. However, I would like to add that the reason I kept leaving my camera behind is because I could have sworn that I saw Frosty holding his camera whenever we went out the door. Sadly, we would arrive at photo-worthy places, only to discover that neither one of us had a photo-making apparatus. It wasn’t until we got to Cologne…and that’s kind of where the trip got crazy. And then, I was too busy dealing with the crazy to take pictures.

So, the only photographic evidence that I have from Christmas is a set of Frosty and his 4-year-old cousin, JS, playing with make-up. She painted his nails and showed him how to apply eye shadow (something I didn’t learn how to do until I turned 20). It was precious.

Her face is actually not at all blurry in real life, it's just that I'm not related to this child and this is a public blog. She drew "glasses" on Frosty's face, which contrasted nicely with his glittery pink nails and luxurious, Don Johnson-like hairdo.

Now a few words about Frosty’s cousins. I have a lot (10+) nieces and nephews,  so I'm used to holidays with a bunch of damn kids running around and being all loud and generally obnoxious. I'm ok with that, because when you're a kid -- at least when you're still under eight or nine years old and start utilizing that thing called your "inside voice" -- that's just what you do. 

Anyway, Frosty's cousins, being the youngest present, were the center of attention during the family celebration. They are incredibly cute (!) and being half-Venezuelan and half-German, they are totally children of the Mulatto Revolution. One day at the breakfast table (the place where shit was always going down), JS announced to everyone at the table, “Sometimes people whose skin is too light turn red if they’re in the sun too long. But if you have normal brown skin, then you just get darker.”

JS’s mom (Frosty’s aunt) squealed with joy and exclaimed, “Did you hear that?! My daughter just called brown skin, normal skin!” Everyone had a good laugh at that, but I don’t think most of them realized what a truly powerful statement the little girl had just made. Either that or no one wanted to discuss the implications for fear of another family argument.

Along the same lines, JS told me one night (while trying to avoid her bedtime) that she had a “very very important” question to ask me before she could fall asleep. She leaned in close to me and whispered, “Raven, how come you have black hair, but you can’t speak Spanish?”

Touché, little one. 

I think I really blew her mind when I told her that when I went to school all of my lessons were in English and I didn't start learning German until I was about 12 or 13 years old. She couldn’t seem to wrap her mind around that one, but she kind of poked fun at me for only being able to speak two languages. In addition to already speaking fluent Spanish and German, she's also learning English, which made me feel not only old...but also dumb.

JS has a 2-year-old sister named AM. She is equally cute, but is not quite to the point of speaking in full sentences (although she will comply with requests in both German and Spanish). AM and I hit it off quickly, despite how everyone said that it takes awhile for her to warm up to strangers. Kids tend to like me. Probably because I look like a very non-threatening type of goofball.  Or maybe it's because I just let them do/say whatever they want for the most part. It's a blessing and a curse. 

But mostly a horrible, horrible curse.

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