My girls were born in Mexico. This means they have both Mexican and American birth certificates and Mexican and American passports.
Unfortunately, their Mexican passports have to be renewed EVERY YEAR until they’re 3. This means, we make our annual 2.5 hour trek to La Paz, the capital of our state (Baja California Sur) every year on Memorial Day weekend. (Here’s last year’s first trip and then the follow-up trip. And then our 2011 trip here. You have to see how little the girls are – be sure to look at the 2011 pics.)
Anywho – I live in San Jose del Cabo (bottom of the peninsula) and you see La Paz a bit north.
The trip is slightly stressful and annoying but necessary.
Usually we’re denied the girls’ passports. Always the process takes hours. Usually I want to throw a fit during the process. Always I declare that I should not have had my children here.
You see, Mexico is different. Governmental offices are never, ever, EVER consistent. Ever. (You think I’m kidding? Ask a Mexican. They’ll tell you I’m not.)
Documentation requirements online are never the same once you get to the office. It’s ridiculous.
And, each year I have an issue because my name on my daughters’ Mexican birth certificates (which is mandatory) includes my maiden name and the name on my U.S. passport excludes it.
No one believes that I’m their parent.
That small point makes all the difference every.single.year. You see, when you marry in Mexico you never change your name. Smart, really. And when I got married back in 2003, I changed my name… (Ironically I changed my name so that my family would all have the same last name. Little did I know that my children would be born in Mexico and legally have my maiden name while I do not.)
So last year I notarized and apostilled my original birth certificate and a Spanish translation in order to solve my identity pickle. (This was not an easy process.) This year, I took the same paperwork and thought, “Aside from an in-office blood or DNA test, there is physically nothing more that I can do to prove that I am the mother of these little weirdos.”
So, the husband and I got up at 4:30 a.m. on Memorial Day. We were out the door with two sleepy (or “sleeply”, as Vivi calls it), still-in-their-pajamas little girls by 5:05 a.m.
A few minutes into the ride Lila asked, “Are we going on an airplane?”
Nope. We’re driving to the passport office. That’s even more exciting than a plane ride.
The car ride was pretty uneventful. Lila sang to Bruno Mars and at one point Vivienne threw up (yep.) And when we talked about it later, she was re-telling the story and summed it up by saying, “Yeah… and I dumped out of my mouth… and….”
We found this to be hilarious because we have never, in any context, referred to anything coming out of her body as “dumping.” WHERE DOES SHE get this stuff?
Then after we were all laughing, she confirmed, “I made a funny.” Also a statement she’s never said before. Also accurate. Yes, Vivienne Kate. You are funny.
Car ride = slightly hilarious.
Day at this poing? Going well.
So we arrived about 30 minutes early to the passport office and got the girls dressed in the back of Craig’s car.
This, my dear friends is a classy establishment.
We enter in the lower section of the building. The blue part. And no, we don’t park there because if you do you will be there for days.
Thanks to cognates, you can read that this is the Secretary of Exterior Relations office.
|Lila’s photos were fine. She looks rumpled because they were taken after-school in a photoshop that was at least 99 degrees.|
|(Apparently the country of Mexico was too embarrassed to authorize a passport that featured a mullet (left) so they opted for this new photo (right). Note to self: next time gel Vivi’s hair down.)|
|The girls hung out outside on this very clean and sterile stretch of ground while I was inside.|
|Craig being AWESOME.|
Sometimes I’m just astounded by the beauty of Baja California Sur.
It’s calm and heavenly and the water is crystal clear and it laps in and out as if it were a bathtub.
So we played. And ate mangos. And just relaxed.
These two loved it.
Lila said, “This day is great!”
Lila’s sand soup.
As we were leaving Vivi was waving to the beach saying, “Bye, bye beach. See you tomorrow.”
All of the chaos doesn’t matter because I believe that we’re making some crazy awesome memories.
I love my little family.