I have this little sister Ana Carolina. She's warm and very busy.
For those who have picked up on the Charlie and Lola start, give yourself 20 dollars.
I do, though, have a little sister named Ana Carolina Espinoza. She lives in Denver with her husband and just had her third child July 21, Nicolas. Now there is Margarita, 8, and Lilo, 5 and Nicolas, 10 days. Not only do I have a little sister, but two little brothers, Jose and get ready, Jose. My birth certificate name is Jose Arturo. My father, Jose, had children by three women--my mom, Ana's and one Jose's mom, named Margarita, and another woman.
Joe, Joe, Joe and Joe, ya know?
I watch my children (including Connor) interact as siblings without any knowledge of their experience. I believe already they will be close as grown-ups, because Gavin and Darcy shared a womb, Maggie likes to be a girl with Darcy, with whom she will always share clothes, and Connor truly likes to be their big brother. As parents we will only play favorites when one of them shows promise in some area, thus cutting down on any "Dad always liked you better," nuisance talk. They will have to earn it.
I met Ana when I was 11 and she was maybe 3 or 4, in El Salvador. I have only a fleeting memory of her. I had heard rumours that there was a brother as well. I have never been very good about keeping ties with frinds or family.
Even though I've had many questions about my Dad, who died when I was 22, and who has been that phantom presence all my life as here-and-there fathers are known to be, it wasn't enough apparently to lead a search for his side of the family, even a sister of mine. Can't explain it, not sure it matters, because I left a message on an Ancestry.com board in 2004 with some explanation of my father, and two years later had it answered by the daughter of a cousin--my father's brother's daughter, whose wedding I nearly caused a brawl at in the late 1980s.
Background on my father--he was the largest Salvadoran in history, I believe, at 6-foot-1 or 6-foot-2, leading me to believe my birth certificate was correct when it lists father's country of origin as Venezuela. Not so says Ana, so now I believe her, because she knew him better. He and my mother were together at least eight or nine years, didn't marry, had me and split for good when I was 7.
I visited him in El Salvador in 1974, that summer they split, and again in 1978. I want to get back there, talk to those I knew back then, see the places I went, the coffee plantation he supervised (or something--one of the questions I have), eat some pupusas, get mango pieces in a plastic bag.
I saw Dad shoot warning shots at troublemakers on a winding dirt road up to the plantation, I fired a gun there, had my first French kiss from a very aggressive neighbor, sang You Light Up My Life to her family, played soccer on cobblestone streets, feared a place that had police in full battle gear, watched him as he went about his daily business, learned enough Spanish to get B's in school Spanish without trying, loved his Toyota Land Cruiser, became a fan of UltraMan (Japanese folks with Spanish voices!) and I can still feel his scrapy cheek as I kissed it before bed each night.
The cousin's daughter gave my address to a cousin of my father's, and he sent me a Christmas card with his phone number. I finally called, in April or May. I think there's some fear of success in me--why the hell wait so long, when contacting them and learning so much was now at my doorstep?
Rene is/was great and a nice surprise--he's worked in government and is lending his economic prowess to human rights/charity work in Africa. I talked to his new bride, he got the message and e-mailed me Ana's info, along with an invitation to visit him near D.C. and stay anytime I want in his house in El Salvador.
Now that I am in touch with Ana, who has been genuinely excited for the electronic reunion, I will be taking Maggie, who is brown like me and my father's other children, to Denver to visit Ana and her family in late August or September. Bonus--Jose moved to Denver for work, and so I will be seeing him and his family as well.
One day we'll all re-visit El Salvador together, hopefully with Carrie and the twins and Connor, too. This would be one of the few dreams I've had, and most I have had have come true. I have a good record of getting what I want, and whereas I used to focus on getting there, now that goal can be a reality in the company of my brother and sister and nieces and nephews, which was not part of the original fantasy. A whole family to speak Spanish to. Yay! (If I may).
I can now add the title brother and uncle to husband and father and son. And type of the devil, what does appear in the corner of my eye, but a little buttnutt named Gavin, awake when he ought not to be.
He came out to where I was typing this, crawled up on a cushy chair and is trying to get back to sleep. I have to go scrape his cheek with mine and put him back to bed.