Saturday, September 15, 2007
My son-in-law's birthday is tomorrow, but my daughter is having a birthday party for him today. Happy birthday Paco!!
One thing I especially admire about the Hispanic community is they LOVE to celebrate! Give them a reason, and they'll have a party...and oh, what great parties they are! Family and friends gathered around, and food, lots and lots of food! For his birthday, my son-in-law and his brothers and cousins had a cow butchered. A whole cow. They drench it in oil and spices and cook it all day. We eat that, along with tortillas, homemade salsa, rice and beans, and some kind of funky cactus salad stuff, and it is SO good!! Often times, there's a traditional fruit punch that is basically lots of different kinds of fruit juice with a whole bunch of sugar mixed in.
When it's time for cake, for some unknown-to-me reason, it's tradition to smash the birthday celebrants face in the middle of it. Can't quite figure that one out, but it's always done. Everyone stays all day and into the night, and usually my son-in-law will light a bonfire and the late-night stragglers will make s'mores and sit up into the night talking and laughing.
My son-in-law missed out on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, Easter, 4th of July, his anniversary, his wife's birthday and his kids' birthdays this last year, so today is a celebration for him of all of those things wrapped into one. There's even a pinata for my grandkids because their birthdays were a bit more subdued this last year than usual, and my daughter has rented a "bounce house" and water slide. It should be a fun day and I'm really looking forward to it. It reminds me, in a lot of ways, of family gatherings at my grandparents house when I was a kid. Only the food and music were German, instead of Mexican. I miss those days.