I loved my birthday parties. All my cousins and aunts and uncles would come over to eat cake, made by my aunt, and spend the day together. Half of my family is of Mexican decent so you can imagine the food, both quality AND quantity, that was prepared and eaten.
My favorite part of the day was busting the piñata. All my cousins would gather ’round and each of us would have a turn from youngest to oldest. The little ones would forgo the blindfold but after a certain age, usually about 7 or 8, a blindfold would cover your eyes as you swung a stick in the hopes of hitting this colorful paper mache filled with candy. If you’ve never seen a piñata in action it is strung up with rope over a branch of a tree so it can swing as you try to bust it open. One of my uncles or my father would hold the other end of the rope and trick the blindfolded batter by pulling up and then letting it swing down. This would create barrels of laughter as you whipped the stick through air or get tangled in the rope. My cousins and I are a creative bunch, loyal to each other and loyal to getting the candy like you’ve never seen. As we got older and wised up to my uncles tricks we started shouting “up” and “down” as they would pull and release the piñata. “Up! Down!….. Up, Down, Up!… Up! Down!” over and over until the candy came flying out and we scrambled to collect the most chocolate. Oh yes, we only stuffed our ladybugs, horses and tissue paper baseball players with Snickers, Reese’s, Milky Way, Twix, etc..
After all that excitement we would relax while opening gifts. The sun would set and with plates full of leftover food and cake I would say goodbye to my cousins with many tears and giggles. Until next time…
Up! Down! Up! Down!