The mother was so squat and round she looked like a cookie jar, while the dad had identical curves, as if they were cut from the same mold.
The kids were adorable, two girls and a boy. I loved how the little ladies were dressed, in soft white muslin, tiny sandals gracing their feet, ribbons in their hair despite it being way after midnight. The boy had on Levis and a tank that made him look as if any minute he’d be chopping down a tree. But as his two older sisters slept in the crook of their mother’s arms, he sat on her lap holding three balloons. They could have been a float at the Macy’s Day parade so proudly he perched.
I marveled how alert the kid was despite the hour, and when one of his sisters in a dead sleep started sliding off the seat, he grabbed her knee pushing her back up. Already, at 3, he was assuming duties as a man of the house.
I thought about what it must be like being this family…five mouths to feed, bodies to dress. Train fare, food and we mustn’t forget balloon money.
It takes a certain type of courage to have kids these days, knowing you’ll no doubt be challenged with fiscal responsibilities, yet there they were, the Norman Rockwell of Latino families.
When I rose to get off they were still on.
“Nice balloons,” I said to the boy.
His mother caressing his arm said, “Mucho gracias,” speaking for him.
He and his balloons just yawned as I happily headed home.