Becoming an Illegal - My Family Travels

In the month of May my mother sat down next to me on my bed in my room. “Sonnie, there’s this surf camp at the end of June… and Trish and I were wondering if you would like to go for the weekend. Do you think that would be fun?” I looked up from reading my heroine book with a look plainly saying, “Are you seriously asking me that question?” I then erupted from my calm bubble babbling, “Are you serious?! Surf camp? That would be enormous fun!!! It will be another epic adventure like when I went snowboarding with Joe!” Seeing the plain excitement on my face my mother smiled pleased with her, “So is that a yes? Because I can’t really tell.” she said teasing me. “Ugh mom I would love you forever if I got in!!” I squealed in reply as I leaped up to give her a hug. “OK ok I’ll tell Trish to send in the forms.” She then got up laughing at my reaction as I quickly picked up my cell phone to tell my best friend, Cheyenne, I would finally be able to join her at the ocean, when we would eventually get to the beach together.
    The last weekend of June finally approached. I was jumping with excitement as Thursday morning came for me and my mom to pack up and leave for Cal city so that my cousin, Alyssa, my friend, Samantha, my mom, Shelia, my other older cousin, Trish, and myself, could load up Friday morning to go to LA and spend the weekend at the YMCA Surf camp. We arrived late Thursday morning and got some things gathered. My cousins, mom, and I sat down and made the plan to wake up at 6am load up at 7 and leave at 8am sharp. Although we knew we couldn’t get into the gates until 4pm we still wanted to leave space for traffic and getting lost since our trend was to do so, on every trip.
    Friday morning came as I heard soft voices and crashing sounds of metal. I realized my 5’6 body had fallen asleep on the 4′ something love seat couch while my 5′ cousin got the much bigger couch. I rolled off the couch to gather clothes and change while Alyssa slowly did the same. I walked into the small kitchen to see Trish and my mom gathering water bottles and snacks for the road. I squeezed by to quickly obtain a bowl, spoon, and milk so that I may have a bowl of cold cereal to eat. The hours flew by as all five of us were soon speeding down the I-5 south towards our destination. We arrived at the camp by 2 o’clock; the camp didn’t admit people until 4pm. So Trish had the great idea to go see the border. Everyone got psyched as she explained that there’s a turn out point where you can simple pull over, get out, take some pictures, and the turn around.

    We were speeding down the highway discovering there was no turnout. We crossed the U.S boarder while struggling and holding up traffic to find a way back. To our relief we saw a wonderful yellow U turn sign. My mother dived two lanes to the left to make it in. As we drove the hundred feet, our jaws dropped. Orange cones blocked our path to home. My mother quickly got back onto the freeway and we continued along. Trish spotted a boarder control patroller, we pulled over asking him for a way back. The man smiled as his dark features glowed and he said, “Gueritas, vayan para alla!” We had no idea what the man said. We simply shook our heads and moved on. We took off hoping to find our way home. We followed the road down and around to find ourselves in Tijuana. My mother was holding in her panic attack until a man ruined it all. These two Hispanic men jumped out of no where and started washing our windshield in order to get some money. My mom lost it. Her hands flew up into the air as if she thought she was getting arrested, tears streamed down her dark cheeks as she murmured, “Don’t touch my car. Please get away. I don’t want to be here.” Seeing my mom’s terror I jumped to her aid. “Easy mom. Its ok, everything is fine. Breath in, breath out.” I repeated the calming phrases while rubbing her shoulders and neck. She slowly calmed down and was soon able to drive forward and continue finding our way.
We drove in circles for about an hour before we finally saw the I-5 North sign. My mother dashed to it and we began the slow drive back to the boarder. As we drove we saw many vendors. My mother was going into shock again so I repeated to phrases and rubbed her shoulders. The guys were nice but they were very pushy. I couldn’t blame them but I honestly would be afraid to approach a vehicle with a crying woman.
          We finally reached the border, the man causally ask, “License and passport please.” My mother turned to him and before anyone could say anything she wailed, “I JUST WANT TO GO HOME!!!!” The guy looked taken back as if he didn’t know what to do. He shook off the shock and went into asking us. After questions and living proof, with sobs coming from my mother we finally made it back home to the US. For the rest of the trip, we avoided going south at all costs.  


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