When I was a little girl, members from our church used to serenade families for special occasions. The groups would start in the wee hours of the night. It was a great way to wake up. My brother, sister, and I would rush to the door with our parents to listen to our friends sing. On one particular Mother's Day, the group sang a song called "Las Mananitas". As the guitarists accompanied the singers, the stars twinkled in the dark sky. Off on the horizon, a dim glow proceeded the sunrise. Now when I think about it, the memory of those early morning serenades seem to brighten my day.
One evening, the kids had just finished bathing and getting ready for bed. They were playing with their cars in the living room while I watched a documentary on PBS. I rinsed dishes from our dinner and loaded the dishwasher while the narrator described the plight of children from impoverished countries traveling alone to find a better life. Several children were interviewed at various stages during their journeys. Their stories captured me and pulled at my heart. At the end of the documentary, a mariachi band began to sing "Las Mananitas". I was undone. I had not heard the song in years. As nostalgia swept over me, I danced with my boys around the kitchen. When the song was finished, the kids cried out. "Again, Mom! Again!" I grabbed my phone and pulled up a video of the song on YouTube. Then, we began to dance again.
The kids and I danced to "Las Mananitas" several times. At one point, Son #1 did a tango across the house with Son #2. They laughed and squealed as they bumped into furniture. A few times, I had the boys stand on my feet as we waltzed to the guitars and trumpets. We spun and twirled around the kitchen floor until we were completely out of breath. Then, we all collapsed onto the chairs around the table.
Son #1 gasped. "Mommy, I'm thirsty."
Son #2 reached out with his hands and said. "I want water."
I opened the cabinet door and pulled down three glasses. Carefully, I filled the glasses with ice and water. Then, I passed the drinks out to the boys. We sipped our water quietly for a while watching the sun sink into the horizon. Soon, the boys' eyelids began to droop. They were getting sleepy so I walked them to their beds. After tucking each son into his bed, I went to the living room and listened to the "Las Mananitas" once more. As the last notes drifted into the air, I smiled at the memory of my brother, sister, and I peeking around our parents' legs while friends serenaded us in the middle of the night.