Monday, January 6, 2014
My Three Sons
While I was on vacation in Puerto Rico last week, (which was FAB-u-lous) I found myself at a New Years Eve celebration in the hotel with lots of happy families, happy people and music. I spyed a group of kids sitting on a sofa together. They were adorable. There were two boys age 14 and 13, two little girls-11 and 10 along with their baby brother who was 4- and was sleeping soundly on the sofa. Being a helicopter mom myself, I continued to watch the kids through the celebration right through the magic time that 2013 had turned into 2014. The girls were dancing and playing with noise makers, giggling and enjoying a festive evening being included in the adult activities. The boys stayed put, almost watching guard over their baby brother who was sleeping right through the party that was taking place around them.
I couldn't help myself.
I sat down next to the group at the sofa and began chatting with them. Affable, intelligent and way off the cutie chart, the kids and I enjoyed the normal conversation exchanges. "Where are you from? How old are you? etc." We were having a great time talking, as each one enjoyed their moment in the spotlight, explaining who they were and their ages. Their step-dad had gone to UMass, they told me and they stated that a trip to Boston is something they would like to do someday. The conversation then naturally turned to school. The boy to my left, Gabrielle, explained that they were from a town in Puerto Rico about an hour away but were there at the hotel for the week enjoying a family vacation. I asked them when they were returning to school, to which they replied "Jan 13th". "Why so late?", I inquired. Frack was slated to go back on Jan 3rd. They explained that the return was normal; it was in observance of Three King's Day.
I had never heard of this.
I had heard of people leaving their Christmas trees up until Jan 6th, because of "little Christmas" as they called it, but I never understood that this little Christmas they spoke of was the one my new friends were explaining to me. They kids told me it was just as big as Christmas to them and that the three Kings brought them just as many presents as Santa. "The Feast of the Epiphany", or "Three Kings Day" falls on January 6th and marks the biblical visit of the three wise men or The Magi, to the baby Jesus. It is the anticipation of this day by children mainly in Latin America and Spain that my new little friends spoke of.
"According to the Gospel of Matthew, the men found the divine child by following the North Star across the desert for twelve days to Bethlehem. Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar -- representing Europe, Arabia, and Africa respectively -- travelled by horse, camel, and elephant in order to present baby Jesus with three symbolic gifts."
Anyone who has ever been to my house, my mom's house or anyone in my immediate family's home, would find displays of the Magi (the three wise men) all over the house. And not just at Christmas. My mother was given a prayer by a priest when she was a little girl in homage to the Three Kings. It is to be said three times and is described as a very effective prayer. My mom believes, and always has, that the three Kings are the bearers of good fortune. My brothers and sisters and I all posses this prayer and many displays of the Magi in our surroundings. How could I have not known about Three Kings Day??
Today when I woke up, I thought about the kids I had shared that enjoyable conversation with in the early hours of 2014. I though about them putting grass and water out for the wise men's camels in anticipation of their arrival and I thought about them enjoying a wonderful day with their family. I don't think those adorable kids had any idea of the impression they left on me, but I carried it with me right through to today.
Happy Three King's day to them and all of you! I hope that the Magi continues to bring all of us good fortune all the year through!