It was a sad, cold day here. January 6th was Three Kings Day/ Epiphany. It's a day where children in Puerto Rico and other Latin countries wake up to find presents delivered all the way from Bethlehem by the Kings as a reward for their good behavior all year. Only...we had a problem Houston. It was 19 degrees outside with snow, and we couldn't find any grass to leave out for the camels to eat, as tradition dictates. This isn't going to go over so well.
The tradition is that children leave grass and water for the camels and leave some food out for the Kings to take a rest at your home, before heading out to the next house. Because we are the only part Latin family in this 'hood, the spawn know that the Three Kings will have a long camel ride before they get to the next house. Needless to say, they looked for grass for an hour to no avail. With tears already welling up, they called it quits and headed inside: " I hate living where there is snow sometimes, Mama." Trust me kid, me too.
I have to admit that it made me kinda sad too. I felt like we didn't do things right, like something was missing. I sat back and remembered my childhood in Puerto Rico. I would go to the fields near my house and pick the best and greenest grass for the camels. I also would ask to leave out some rice, beans, and pastels out for the Three Kings. If we'd had time to prepare, the Three Kings would get a soda to drink with their dinner or a Maltita India and the camels would get ice water to drink. I remember feeling so proud of myself for putting all these things together and also feeling like they would appreciate the meal. Maybe they would leave me that Barbie mansion I'd been after for years. Sadly, they never left me the mansion, but they did bring me a Barbie Corvette! That was a big deal!! I remember how happy I was that morning, opening up the gifts. Everyone knows the Three Kings are better than Santa Claus!!
Trying to avoid a complete catastrophe, I pulled the girls to me and told them: " let's make the best of it! They won't have grass this year but they will appreciate some water, and I'm sure the Kings would love some cookies, cake, and Maltita. I'm sure of it! Traveling by camel in the cold is hard on them, you know." The girls looked at me and agreed that this was the best plan. Pixy seemed cheery laying out the treats, while Banshee was worried that the wolves would eat everything before the Three Kings got to it all. I agreed to keep the boys upstairs,; I mean we didn't want them barking when the camels came inside to warm up, right?
We got everything taken care of and everyone went to bed on time. Pixy looks at me and says, " I hope they don't mind, Mama. I don't want them to be sad. They bring us such nice things every year and we don't have anything to give them!" Banshee added:" it's not even nice outside!" I agreed wholeheartedly, as I remembered going to bed in 80 degree weather with the windows open, waking up at every sound outside because it was the Three kings. 19 degrees, snow, and ice out there. What a crappy night to travel by camel. Here's hoping they make their way safely and in spite of the weather, come morning, we still find a little bit of sand on the floor from the camels' feet.
Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net "Camel Caravan In Desert" by Photokanok