The Flamingos

Deep in the southern part of the northern hemisphere lives a family named after a bird. Like the flamboyant bird the family is riddled with color. Mother is dark skinned with a Caucasian background and Dad is white with a Hispanic ancestry. The 3 children are typically American fluently bilingual in both English and text messaging sharing blond hair, hazel eyes and red blooded sibling rivalry. 

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Mom is the Chief operating Officer of the family. She is responsible for planning the meals, picnics and family reunions. She cooks, cleans, mends, washes and drives. She manages the calendar with ninja precision. PTA meetings, Teacher conferences, doctor, dentist and hair appointments scheduled like a project from NASA. If it absolutely, positively must get done mom gets the charge. After palates, low fat yogurt and a brisk walk through the neighborhood she settles down for her personal bible study. But first she prays. She prays for her husband. Her children. Their friends. Her family back home. Her Country and all the people that have lost hope. And at the end of the day she looks into her husbands eyes and asks “How was your day, honey?” Regardless of his answer she smiles and tells him “I love you.” 

If mom is Country, Dad is a little Rock ‘n Roll. The radio alarm blares out the nostalgic sixties music. Elvis, The Beatles and Otis Redding. The preachers of a rebellious religion. Heart pumping, hips shaking Dad’s ready to shave misquoting all the lyrics he grew up with. He notices one radical gray hair growing wildly in his left nostril. Slowly his mind starts wondering back to his youth. Just how many decades have I lived?” He asks himself looking around making sure no one heard him. Born in the 50’s, grew up in the 60’s, the King died in the 70’s, Reagan saved us in the 80’s, the children were born in the 90’s and then there was Y2K and 911. My God! How can I still be living ! Slowly moving into the shower he notices a lot more scalp than hair these days another reminder he is on the back side of forty and going down hill quicker than he climbed up. Dad is the family alarm clock. Up the stairs the 114 year old dog looks down and says “oh hell, How am I going to make it down those stairs and why is this guy in his underwear coming up here? Jake ! Sadie ! Wake up! The fire truck is almost here! Jake jumps right out of bed and starts getting ready. Sandman Sadie is practically comatose. Sadie you have to get up and get ready for school. Why? So you can go to college. Why? So you can get a good job. Why? So you can support your parents. Why? So we can continue to make your life miserable NOW Get OUT of BED!!! Just 5 more minutes. You just had 8 hours! ! Whats five minutes going to do?. That’s how much time I need to wake up. 

 Number one Daughter was born during the Reagan years. Conservative, Smart and Funny. Qualities only outdistanced by her Charm. Just like the Gipper. Addicted to Starbucks little miss prissy maintains a 3.0 average carrying 20 hours. Like the light shining from the moon is a reflection of the suns rays so too is her immense beauty a reflection of her mothers’ magnificence and grace. Her Dad gets to enjoy the view of her life coiled around her little finger. At 19 Boys are a factor just as there is a reason for penicillin. But at 19 God is also a factor. Whatever her human relationships bring her; she will always be taken care of and comforted by Him. In addition to her two native languages mentioned above she has a immense passion for signing. Way back when she was still ‘daddy’s little girl’ she acquired an infatuation for Sign language. To Sign is to live. In-depth Communication without words. Embracing without arms. Connecting without formalities. Like a little chick peaking its beak out of the shell, Number one Daughter is slowly gaining confidence from who she is instead of what she does. Intelligent and compassionate encompassed by her goodness she begins her journey into adulthood armed by her love from her parents and self-assured in her security in God. 

Then there’s the football player. A 13 year old Hummer on Cleats 1st born son drinks milk as though the government just announced that cows have become extinct. A gold medal contender for the future Olympic event of mercilessly teasing his younger sister Jacob Anthony Garza has mastered the art of concealing his mischievousness behind a devilish grin. The official family banker and electronic genius “Jake” masterfully assembles all incoming furniture, stereo gear, camping and exercise equipment. A photographic memory for Bible verses this student of honors classes skillfully balances his academic schedule with his extensive social calendar. The family abode is overrun with his neighborhood groupies. “Dad, can I have a sleep over” is heard as often as his constant refrain of “I’m Hungry”. Bike, Playstation, TV, Guitar, MP3 Player, Computer and Cell Phone all purchased from his earnings through his neighborhood lawn mowing enterprise. But his capacity to earn money is only surpassed by his tender hearted generosity. Whether it be Katrina Hurricane victims, younger children or stray cats this 1st year teenager stands tall in the sanctuary of humility.

 If King Kong had a Minnie me it would have to be the last child of the Flamingo Family. Sara Noelle named after a character in the Bible and the time of year she was born, this early Christmas present roared into life. Fear to this seven year old little piece of dynamite is only found in a dictionary yet to be discovered. Weighing in at 40lbs she has been known to make her Big Brother groan for mercy. Thin, acrobatic strong willed and sassy “Sadie” as she is known to her local subjects, commands the playground as a general in desert storm. If number one daughter was captured by solitude, Sadie was destined to be the apex of attention. Magnetism, Charisma, Photogenic, whatever the label, she is a solar system in a universe of mere mortals. Playful, energetic and brazenly curios, third child loves life, corn dogs and anything that contains sugar. This may be the reason why when she goes to sleep she is so delightfully sweet.

 So there you have it. Dad, Mom, Number one Daughter, the football player and Sadie, birds of a feather. This flock living in the Alamo City is interdependent. Each and everyone as independent as eagles yet dependent on each other for love and support. The Flamingos are as diverse as America.  One family under God with Liberty and Thankfulness for all.

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