AP NEWS

Column: Loving memories can chase away fears

May 7, 2019

My mom loves vampires.

When I was a kid, she scanned the TV listings for old vampire movies being aired late at night.

“Mira!” she’d declare as if she’d struck gold, “Van a dar una movie de vampiros.”

That night, if Mi ’Apa was working late, she’d put on her nightgown made of old turquoise beach towels, tell us to suit up in pajamas and to go get our favorite colchas. It was the 1970s, and our house was cooled by big air conditioning window units, and we spend summer nights sleeping in the same room so we only ran one of the noisy units at polar bear level.

My little brother and I would get a mattress on the floor and some sheets that were manufactured in the early 1960s. She’d turn off all of the lights in the house, and then she’d tell us to prepare to be scared.

I was terrified before the movies even started.

The opening credit for “Project Terror” was nothing but sound effects and a green light pattern with the words “Project Terror” written in red to make it look as if it were written in blood. Every other weekend, the good people of channel 5 showed a scary movie during the “Project Terror” show, right after the news. It scared me so much I wanted to cry.

I have never been a big fan of vampiros, which I never found that scary. They seemed kind of silly to me, considering all you really had to do to get rid of one is put a cross on them or get them out in the sun. My mom thought they were the coolest of all monsters — and that we were the biggest of all chickens.

We spent commercial breaks getting fruit or cans of Plaza grape soda out of the fridge and arguing whether holy water or a crucifix really stops vampires. My mom would pretend the colcha was a cape.

If the movie got too scary, my brother and I would take out our baseball cards and start putting together a fantasy dream team.

Sometimes, we’d cuddle up next to her. She’d scratch our heads and lovingly caress our hair. We fell asleep knowing we were loved and protected by the only person scarier than vampires.

This is what I think of when I think of what a good mother is supposed to do.

I think of vampires on Mother’s Day.

mariaanglinwrites@gmail.com