A typical day in the life of Yamileydi is anything but typical. Sure, she awakes to the same sounds of the alarm blatantly buzzing and beeping next to her dreaming head day after day; she sleepily stumbles out into the same small, chilly bathroom to brush her teeth before clumsily climbing into the old shower stall morning after morning, rain or shine. But no day is never the same, and once the morning rituals have concluded and the warm, steady beat of water has brought this girl back to the conscious, waking world, Yamileydi will find herself face to face with some tiny adventure, waiting just outside the margins of the normalcy and routine of her life.
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Today, Yamileydi takes her usual morning walk three streets over to her sister’s house. As always, she walks along the sidewalk, noticing the cracks in the concrete and being careful not to step on them, lest she should “break her mother’s back,” as the old childhood saying goes. But today is different then yesterday. The air is crisp but the sun is shinig brightly overhead, casting everything on street level in a rich, luxurious tone of golden hue. She does not see the homeless man who begged her for change yesterday. She does not hear the loud, crashing sounds of another car accident, like the one everyone stopped to stare at two weeks ago. Today, she experiences something much more endearing on her walk. A child, waiting for her mother to finish her phone call, squats down to the ground to scoop a ladybug from the grass. Cupping the dancing bug in her hand ever so slightly, the child laughs, and Yamileydi smiles. The innocent laughter of a child offsets the hints of cold and danger that peppers these streets.
Yamileydi arrives at her sister’s house, where she finds her sister brushing the tangles out of her baby’s small, curly hair. “The bottles are in the fridge!” her sister yells, as she puts the baby in her swing and dashes out for work. Today, Yamileydi decides they will sit indoors and watch their usual television programs. Today,t hey will go to the park across the street. Yamileydi bundles her niece up in a light pink coat like a pretty present, places her in the stroller, grabs a bottle from the fridge and warms it before going back out to the street, this time, with precious cargo.
As they enter the park, they are met with the sounds of the season’s last bugs and late-rising birds overhead. An eager dog barks loudly and excitedly at his master across the grass. Yamileydi chooses a bench bathed in sunshine to sit and feed her niece, who looks up lovingly at her with light brown eyes that glisten with flecks of green and gold in the sunlight.
After awhile, they head back to the house. Typically, they would either watch television, or take a nap together, or maybe read a storybook. But today, Yamileydi treats her baby niece to music, and they dance together, baby laughing wildly in Yamileydi’s swinging arms, for hours! Today’s tiny adventure has left Yamileydi feeling somewhat sore in her now tired, flopping arms, so as soon as her sister arrives back at the house, Yamileydi heads back to her own home to relax on the couch before eating her mother’s meal. Now it’s dusk, and the street’s danger grows. Yamileydi walks briskly back to her home, not looking anywhere but down upon her own hot pink sneakers.
“Yami! Yamiley!” Groggy, she awakens to her mother’s call. Dinner is ready. “I must’ve fallen asleep!” she thinks to herself, as she wipes her heavy eyes. Her nose is flooded with the rich, warm smells of rice, Safrito, cilantro. She eats with her mother at the little wooden kitchen table and they discuss their tiny adventures of the day. With that, her mother heads off to work, and Yamileydi gets to scrubbing the shallow blue bowls and flat silver forks. The pots and pans, she decides, will wait. They will be one of tomorrow’s tiny adventures. Now, she will go to her room, sprawl out on her bed, and do her assigned reading for this week before watching a movie in the dark. As she feels her eyes getting heavy once again, she wonders what tomorrow will bring. She hopes for another pleasant walk and enjoyable babysitting session with her niece as her eyes begin to close. It was a good day.
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