vince_huerta: (Thoughtful with hand)
[personal profile] vince_huerta
I grew up with holidays being about family and traditions, y'know? We celebrate things that last, things that aren't supposed to up and change on you. In most ways that makes me lucky, of course. I didn't lose close family as a kid, and my biggest childhood upheaval was moving from Tempe to Boston when I was twelve. I'm grateful for that, but it makes the changes this year really jump out at me.

Yeah, I'm thinking about Thanksgiving. We'd all gotten together at my parents' for the usual big afternoon meal, me and Gabi, Olivia, José and my nephews. Even my cousin Rayan and her family came up from AZ for a visit. We were getting the table set when I saw Gabi looking around with a little frown on her face, so I picked her up and asked, "¿Qué pasa, princesa?"

She looked me in the eye, all three-year-old serious, and asked, "Papá, ¿dónde están Mamá y Daddy Paul?"

That she was asking where her mom and stepfather were didn't surprise me. Last year Gloria spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with us, one big family even though she and I weren't married. But hearing her call Gloria's new husband Daddy--yeah, that made my brain do a record screech.

I explained that they were with Paul's family, and that I'd take her over to their house after dinner. That was what Gloria and I had worked out, and it satisfied Gabi enough that she stopped frowning and went back to playing with her cousins. Me, I spent the rest of the day trying not to fume, reminding myself over and over that Gabi liking her stepfather enough to call him Daddy is a good thing. Hell, weeks later I'm still reminding myself that it's good that they get along so well, good that Gloria married a decent guy.

But weeks later, I still have a pissed-off asshole locked down in my gut, yelling Damn it, I'm her Papá!

Hopefully I can keep him shut up at least through Christmas.

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Vicente Huerta

December 2011

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