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  • Maira Hernández

Kickin’ It With Teenagers

Since my family left back to the U.S. I’ve been spending most of my free time with the only people with no other responsibilities, you know single people with no kids and spouses, which in the rancho turns out to be my teenage cousins. For fun you just kick it and walk around the rancho. We went off to the parcelas, where all of the crops grow, to see how the small lakes looked since it’s been a heavy rain season in Michoacán. As we made our way through the parcelas we had to make our way through herds of mosquitos and hop through questionable grass to avoid stepping on a snake. All to see the beauty of the rancho- it was breathtaking. The sun on it’s way to set, clouds as bubbly as they can be, skies as blue as they come, hills of greenery in the background, wild flowers growing right in front of us, rows of corn on one side and behind that fields filled with water glistening in far distances. I was in awe of the beauty of the farmland in Mexico. There isn’t that much nature to admire in the city and how lucky was I to practically have all of this in the back yard.

Being in the rancho, the best form of entertainment is chatting, and chatting with teenagers brought me back to my teenage years. We talked about school, music, movies, and TV shows. Our conversations have reminded me how simple teenage conversations are. There were a few times where we were telling each other the storylines of movies we had recently watched and catching ourselves up on TV shows who’s seasons we had missed. Playing mindless games to pass the time. There have even been times we have just gone through each others pictures on our phones. It strangely reminded me of going through a photo album. We take so many pictures now-a-days but we don’t give time to share all of them with anyone anymore. Other nights we would just chill at home and watch chick-flicks. And one night we even managed to sit and look at the stars from the balcony and spent the night dying of laughter of the jokes we would make. It was as simple as that, no overanalyzing people or text conversations. It was a nice reminder of simple conversations and it reminded me a lot of my high school friends.


One night when we were at my abuelos, my abuela called one of my new friends to tell her how glad she was that she came by and to come by more often so that I don’t spend the day sitting at home being bored. “Ay, Mamila y quien dijo que estaba aburida?” I’ve been enjoying the peace and tranquility and my grandma thinks I just sit at home being bored. I read, I write, and thanks to Netflix downloads I catch up on some shows, and I run into town every day running errands or catch up with life at the internet cafe. But it was a nice thought, and I appreciated my grandma being so gracious to my new friend.


But I will admit hanging out with the younger kids has been a good change of pace. Just the other day I was reading a memoir where it discussed how we tend to be products of our environments. I’ve definitely noticed the difference hanging out with my abuelos and hanging out with the young kids. With my abuelos life is slower paced, it’s about history and reflection. With the younger kids it’s about living, having fun, being active. Just the other day we were out playing basketball and I realized how out of shape I was huffing and puffing as my 16 year old cousin was making shots all around me, even passing the ball through my legs. My abuela was right, going out with the teenagers is a good idea.


I was appreciative of the balance of life- old and new. I could experience both here to it’s fullest authenticity because there’s no reliable internet in the rancho to keep us distracted away from our lives. Playing basketball in the cancha, and having simple chats, walking through the rancho and seeing beautiful sights- what more do I need?

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