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Los Cariños de Mi Apá

I was sitting in the couch across from my abuela and my dad as we were all just passing the day. From what I remember abuela was talking about her canas, now that her hair is all white, I saw my dad endearingly put his hand on the back of her head and give her a small embrace bringing my abuela’s head closer to his shoulder as he made a joke and was laughing about it. I’ve always seen my dad do this, he does this a lot to my mom when we’re out at dinner. It’s a way he makes my little sister jealous, as he brings her closer to him and watches my sister for her reaction. He does this a lot to us, if we’re just standing around he will grab us by the head and bring us in for a sloppy hug, messing up our hair in the process.

It was at this moment in my abuela’s couch that I was able to understand my dad’s cariños as an adult, it was also at this moment that I was able to see my abuela and dad as mother and child and the innocence that relationship holds. We almost never see our parents as children, or let alone our grandparents as the one’s who raised them. I think we understand this intellectually, but seeing it emotionally and the relationship that it holds is something different.

Now that I am older I’m able to see things a little different. I also recognize the relationship between my dad and my uncle, where I once only saw them as elders, I know see them as brothers. I see their relationship older and younger brother, especially in their mannerisms, my dad unconsciously bossing my uncle around and the way my uncle endearingly calls my dad “hermano”. I also see the relationship my grandparents have with them, and it’s almost like I am able to see my dad and my tio as teenagers. The way my dad jokingly calls out my uncle for having too many beers and the way my uncle asks “ Porqué dices eso?”, upset for being called out in front of my abuelos, and the way my abuela tells my uncle she could tell by higher pitch of his voice. It’s strange to be back in a place that holds so much family history and see it through a different lens. But I am also lucky to be able to have that and be able to witness and appreciate it.

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