Her playtime with Papá will soon end.
Marina bounces into the room and sneaks up on the sleeping face of her grandfather. “Papá.” she says. “Get up!” Then, frustrated and ornery, she shouts in her best three-year-old voice, “Get up you zhazhy butt!”
Eyes closed, three-year-old Marina leans her head back and grips the yellow and red striped bars. She drags her braids in the dirt as the merry-go-round spins and spins and spins.
Marina’s cousin, Tita, demands, “Faster, Neto, faster!” imploring her big brother to push them again. Neto squinches his eyes in an effort to block the desert sun. He frowns the way boys do when they want to fling annoying younger siblings across Pine Street Park in Holtville, California to the pile of dirt at the foot of the monkey bars.
“Neto,” his tia warns, “that’s too fast.” Neto frowns again at his sister and walks away in spite of her pleas. They are all here for Marina’s birthday party. There is cake and carne asada, frijol…