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Showing posts with the label childhood

Ninongs and Ninangs

The Mama and the Daddy asked six of their friends to be the ninongs and ninangs, or godparents, when I was baptized.  The Roman Catholic Church recognizes only two baptismal sponsors, and one ninang (female godparent) and one ninong (male godparent) did sign on the formal lines of the baptismal document a long time ago. The other four signed on the right hand top of the page. I have a feeling the godparents signed it all at once at the church, which makes me wonder if the priest panicked that the church rules were not being followed. The parents taught me that the spouses of the godparents were also ninangs and ninongs, and I was to address them as such. Altogether, I had 10 godparents. I have many memories of these elegant people. Here are a few of them. Ninang Deling taught me my numbers in Ilocano. She was quite patient with the four-year old me that bounced and danced around her as I repeated after her—maysa, dua, tallo, uppat, lima. . . When I was six or seven, Ninong Cle

Knowing the Language

Nearly 35 years ago, a college professor, who hailed from Australia, told me if it weren't for the awkwardness of my writing, I would've got a higher score on my paper. She forgave me for some of my usage and grammar because, according to her, "English is your second language." For once, I kept my mouth closed rather than enlighten her on how wrong she was. English is the only language I can read, write, speak, and understand fluently. Proficiently, too, except for the lapses in awkward writing and the proper use of grammar, word choice, and cliches. I'm especially good at forgetting articles (the, a, an, and so on) and getting prepositions mixed up, which, I think is because the Ilocano language has no articles and, as far as I can tell, one preposition. As I was growing up the parents mostly spoke Ilocano to me while I spoke English to them. I still do that with the Mama, and the Husband finds it very strange. It's really not unusual with immigrant

Jumping the Ditch

Because I was born 10 days after the cut-off date for first graders, I was sent home on the third day of school. Fine. The Mama had her hands full caring for Baby Sister and figuring out the new house that we had moved into about a week before school started. That meant I got to go with the Daddy for part of the day. Great! The Daddy irrigated the rows upon rows of crops on the valley floor. During  his morning break, the Daddy came home to fetch me. I'd get in the car with my Golden Books, coloring books, and crayons and down the hill we would go. While the Daddy worked, I entertained myself with my books and when that became tiring, I'd wander and explore, but never too far from the car and always where the Daddy could see me. We'd go home for lunch and sometimes I'd get to go back with the Daddy. A ditch stood between the fields and the car. It also separated me from the Daddy. Without help, I could not get over the ditch, especially when it was filled with w

The Girl That Did Fly

Once upon a time, in a far away place, a little girl wished upon a star, "I wish I could fly." Unlike other fairy tales, Midge's wish did not come true. So, she thought. One morning, Midge woke up, thinking, "Ah, today is the day I shall fly."   She flung off her blankets and jumped to her feet. Bounce! Bounce! Bounce! With each bounce, Midge hung in the air higher and longer. Nearly three-quarters to the ceiling, she turned somersaults and back flips, cartwheels and spins. She bounced and she bounced until her grandmother opened her door. "Very good, my dear," said Lola Sue smiling so proudly. "You're getting to be quite good with the triple flips. I do believe you take after your grandma." Lola Sue jumped onto the bed, and together they bounced. Bounce! Bounce! Bounce! Holding hands, they bounced even higher and higher. "I think it is time," Lola Sue said."Are you ready?" "Yes! Yes!" exclaimed Midge, altho

First Time Skating

Check out other A to Z Challenge participants by clicking here . Scrape. Scrape. Scrape. Scrape. "What is that noise?" I imagine the Pop of the mom-and-pop grocery store said. The Mom walked over to the front window and laughed (so I conjecture). Scrape. Scrape. Scrape. Scrape. "What is it?" Scrape. Scrape. Scrape. Scrape. "That darling little chubby girl is skating." "On what? Cans?" "Yes." Scrape. Scrape. Scrape. Scrape. I was probably 6 or 7 years old when I skated for the first time. With each foot snugly encased in a crushed beer can, I slowly made my way around the bend of the gravel driveway to the road and along the shoulder.  I crossed in front of the mom-and-pop store with the goal of reaching the stop sign. There I rested for a long while.  Most likely I wished I had a nickel for a candy bar or maybe a dime for a bottle of Nehi soda. Skating was more work than I thought it would be. Up, I stood, and