It is about 10:00 a.m. and I am sitting at the kitchen table in my fleece pajamas, drinking a homemade orange mocha and eating what I have decided will be our traditional Christmas morning breakfast from now on, pupusas de chicharrón y queso, when my mother-in-law calls from the Midwest. She sounds flustered and launches right into what she wants to say before she stops herself and adds a hurried, "Oh, right, Merry Christmas." And then, "I need your interpreting services." I charge for that, I tell her. She giggles and stammers and I wonder if I need to remind her that I'm joking.
It snowed last night, she tells me, and it is fifteen degrees outside. It's Christmas morning, and there is a crew of men, all Latino, shoveling out driveways in the neighborhood. She's taken two of them mugs of coffee, but she wants to know how to ask if anyone else would like some.
She takes the phone outside and I hear her say, "Español." And then I am talking to one of the men, who sounds a bit skeptical. I tell him to please let my suegra know if anyone wants coffee. Con confianza. His voice brightens, and he assures me that he'll ask the rest of the workers. I hang up. And then I get a serious case of the warm fuzzies.
Merry Christmas. I hope you had plenty of hot coffee this morning, wherever it came from.