As a kid, heading down to Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, was just a normal thing to do. My welita, tios, tias, and cousins all lived down there. We would go down to visit on a regular basis from Corpus Christi. I remember my Grandma Lupe taking bags of clothes we had outgrown to go give to our family. The streets seemed to be covered in dirt and no one was ever dressed in cool clothes that were in style. People walked everywhere. I didn’t find it exotic or exciting or that it was much of a get away. I could never understood why people in movies and on TV would talk about how great it would be to live on the beaches of Mexico. I hadn’t been to the beaches of Mexico, I had only been to the rancho and homes of family members. We did do a lot of shopping but not the tourist kind. Instead of buying postcards and shirts that say things like “my family went to Mexico and all I got was this shirt”, we picked up low cost alcohol and antibiotics. If it was around Easter, we might get to bring back cascarones. We spent time visiting grandma and trying to understand what the heck she was talking about- cuz it was all Spanish and you know I am not exactly Miss Espanol. But I learned a ton from those trips. I learned to appreciate all I had and was given. Air conditioning is not something everyone has all over the world and having a window unit and fans was a really special thing. My parents exposed me to different worlds and helped me to see that not everyone has all the same things. Once we moved away to San Antonio, the trips became less.
This world today is very different from the one I grew up in and there are things that I will never get to share with my boys. The ranch were my great grandma, my Welita, lived I will probably never see again. A trip to that part of Mexico is not a part of my oldest son’s memories and more than likely my little one will never see Mexico as a child. It does sadden my soul. I pray that in my lifetime, crossing the border and walking the streets will be something we can enjoy and experience together. Viva Mexico and thanks for the memories grandpa and grandma and mom and dad!!