Monday, April 07, 2008

holy smokes

We had a bit of a cultural experience last Sunday. My friend Rosa Rameriz invited us to her nephew's baptism. I had only ever been to a Catholic mass once before at Christmas time so I didn't really know what to expect. The sermon was in Spanish and it was standing room only. The chapel was warmed by all the bodies and smelled of incense. I had no idea what was going on most of the time. There were about six babies to be baptized. They all wore extravagant white outfits and the parents carried ornate candles and shells. Afterwards, we went to the party held in the baby's behalf. There were blue and white balloons, mariachi music and a massive cake. We had tacos and orange soda.

All day, we were the only Caucasian people around. Both Ben and I felt a little self conscious. At 6'5", Ben was substantially taller than any other person and I was taller than a lot of the men. Every where I looked, people were staring and I felt like an interloper. But the amazing thing was, we were treated like movie stars. At the party, people were warm and welcoming. They served us first and constantly checked to see if we needed anything. They even insisted we pose in their family photos!

And how does my son repay this kindness?

The party was held on a patio which overlooked a steep wooded embankment. Thom instantly made best friends, as he is so inclined to do where ever we go. The kids were playing cars when Thom spotted a pack of cigarettes. He instantly snatched them up, screamed "AHHHHHHH SMOKES!" and chucked them, grenade style, over the fence and down into the embankment. Like idiots, Ben and I both rushed over to see if we could somehow retrieve the package thirty feet down and semi hidden in shrubbery.

Now, I know we have been teaching him smoking is bad for your body and we don't smoke in our family. I'm not retracting that. But I also know that a pack of cigarettes isn't cheap. I was ready to reimburse whomever need be. No one ever claimed ownership and the incident was glossed over by our super nice hosts.

But here's what's been bothering me: Where in the world did my son learn to call cigarettes "smokes" like some kind of hardened criminal?

Here's the little rodent modeling my latest embroidery project. As you can tell, he is thrilled to have his picture taken.

Sugar Daddy thinks I am crazy for spending so much time on a T-shirt for our grubby son. Now that it's finished, I think he might be right.


Jill said...

I am about to wet my pants, I am laughing so hard! I can totally see you and B-Rock among the crowd. Then I picture the two of you leaping into action to remedy the situation created by Thom. I LOVE IT! Isn't parenting grand?

And about the "smokes" comment ... confess it ... you can often be heard using these street terms.

Again, I can't wait for our visit next week! It's been way too long. I just hope that we don't wear out our welcome.

Love ya!

Kiersten said...

I love the story about Thomas. Isn't it amazing how much such little people can embarrass us?

And that shirt is a work of art! I would frame it.

Anonymous said...

So,so funny! This could be a Seinfeld sitcom episode. Seriously, what kind of crowds are you guys hanging out with there in Carlsbad.

Amyesq said...

Ha ha! Way to go, Thom! Smokes? Where the heck is he learning these phrases? Must be all that nasty TV you are exposing him to. Just kidding, inside joke.

LOVE the shirt. Of course, I hope you took it right off of him the second you finished snapping the picture because, ye gods, he will wreck it! It really needs to be framed or something.