Friday, June 11, 2010

Bandera Banditos?

  Several years ago, my uncle dubbed us The Bandera Banditos.

  My kids were running around like banshees...swinging off of rope swings, playing with firecrackers..and all were involved with karate and hockey. You know..the aggressive, contact, theory anyway. It appeared to me my kids were spending a lot of time dancing with weapons and skating. Regardless, my uncle got the biggest kick out of referring to them as the Bandera Banditos and grinning about their Huck Finn sort-of existence.

  Over the years, the name sort-of stuck. We sign presents from The Bandera Banditos. We send sympathy cards and thankyou notes from The Bandera Banditos. Yes..I see the irony here..but you get the point.

 I had forgotten about this until recently when I was getting my inspection sticker renewed for my car (a 6 passenger Mercury van). As I was getting ready to pay for the inspection, the "inspector" grins and says, " homeschool."  It was not a question. It was simply a It's raining outside...and then he immediately follows it with So how many kids do you have?

 It caught me off guard..we had just been speaking about flooding in New Braunfels, TX.
Uh..yeah..and I have a handful of children.I replied. Do you?..homeschool? (as in how do you know..I know this is a small town..but ???)

The mechanic/inspector grins and with a knowing nod replies..Oh..I can just tell. 
Did my van talk to you? (I whisper)
The man can just tell.

We continued making small talk..he told me where he grew up, etc...As we talked..I started wondering...How does he know?  (I mean I had NO CHILDREN) with me.  Maybe it was how I was dressed?  I, green tye-dye t-shirt with a design, flip-flops..okay..just like about 12 other Bandera-area mom's...most of whom do NOT homeschool. So dress code, was not the clue.

I say good-bye and return to the van. I see a car-seat..a quilt, two on building robots and one on pre-cal/trig. I also see an insulated, empty, canvas grocery bag. Waiting for use. AHA! Then?! I spy my (ahem) cassette tapes (it's an OLD VAN) with Beatles and songs from Top Gun. Oops. My car DID talk to him. We reeked the stereo-type of homeschoolers.

I began wondering what it would be like to be more Banderaish..whatever that means..more banditoish maybe? Because we are a town that shamelessly, often even proudly, breaks rules and does our own thing..

..and then I remembered my Uncle and The Bandera Banditos...and I had to laugh.

The image that is conjured from this phrase is so far from our present is crazy. Yes..the boys are still rivering, and creating neighborhood "wars", and blowing things up. Why? Because we live in Hill Country, Texas with over 180acres of a neighborhood that they can roam in.

But Bandito #1: Is currently in Singapore for a month, meeting his girl-friend's extended family before returning to work in a bio-medical engineering lab. Why? Because the number one bandito is a family guy who enjoys working in a lab.

Bandito #2: Is making crepes for breakfast on a fairly regular basis..along with gardening (true..tobacco is one of the things he is gardening...uhmm..the legal kind), texting his girlfriend (she is often busy doing musical things) and holding baby Levi.

Banditos' #3 and #4 (the Banditos include the way): They are reading animate, dressing like knights and drinking hot tea with lemon in the evenings before bed. They do, however, add a Bandito touch by saying.."Excuse me Aunt Nicole/Mom..another round please."

Bandito #5: Well..let's face it...number 5 is going to have to live-up to the reputations (or lack there-of) of the rest of his family. For now? He grins, and smiles, and wants to be held..and gets a lot of hiccups.

So there it is, the Bandera Banditos un-banditified...

It is a fun name, though.


Anonymous said...

Nothing says homeschooling like the soundtrack of Top Gun - or maybe it was the bags.

Love the post!

Christina said...

Isn't the fact that you and yours have taken the life you lead with both hands (good and bad) also part of being a bandito?