Tag Archives: babies

Fooling God

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Saturday morning on the veranda

THIS SATURDAY is somewhat different than most, so I thought I’d gossip with you about it.

Normally, Saturdays are identical. My child bride is in her private kitchen out by the property wall, preparing her pastries for the afternoon sale on the big plaza downtown.

But not today.  She’s going to church this morning.

But first, here’s what I’m doing, and it’s not much different than what I do every Saturday morning. I make rounds under the cursed peach tree scooping up fallen peaches to toss out.

Then I sweep the veranda. I hear the shower running in the bathroom, and I hear a lively Mexican tune blaring from the backstreet neighbors. I also hear the electric pump that’s sending water from the underground cistern to the tank atop the roof. And I hear birds. Lots of stuff to listen to.

Soon I’ll be hearing the lawnmower and weedeater because Abel the Deadpan Yardman arrives later to trim the grass.

The sky is blue. The air is crisp. The lawn is wet because it rained quite a spell last night, making sweet sounds.

Now here’s why she’s going to church. It’s to fool God.

Relatives often ask us to be godparents to the endless array of babies they birth because we look like the best deal going in the family. Problem is that our marriage was only a civil one, not a religious one. A judge connected us, and that’s not good enough to be godparents. I suppose we’re seen as living in sin.

There has been a recent spate of new babies among the bunny-breeding kin, so we received at least two new invites to godparenting. I pass. But my child bride really wants to. There’s nothing she loves more than babies.

This morning, she’s pretending to be single to get the proper paperwork, so she can be a godmother without me tagging along. The proper paperwork requires a three-hour instruction from a priest. She’s doing that in a church downtown.

I hope she remembers to remove her wedding ring.

This amuses me while I sweep the veranda and wait for Abel to cut the grass that I’ve already liberated of fallen, rotting peaches.

It’s a lovely morning.

Paula comes calling

Who’s the Gringo with the camera?

OLE FELIPE’S not really a baby person, but sometimes you gotta make allowances.

The second generation of the Mexican relatives are mostly in their 20s, so they’re breeding like hamsters.

A baby slept here last night with her mama whose name is Margarita, just like the beverage, frozen or otherwise. This kid is named Paula, and she’s about a month old.

Paula brought her mother from the state capital yesterday due to a baby shower held last night for yet another niece who’s about to deposit yet another Mexican into this world.

For a baby, Paula is remarkable. She is nice and quiet. She sleeps through the night. She minds her own business. If she poops, I have neither seen nor smelled it.

Gracias to Margarita.

I scratched Paula’s head occasionally so she knows she’s not alone in the world. She held my finger.

Paula doesn’t howl. She doesn’t barf. She meditates.  If she keeps up the superlative behavior, she can visit again.

When she starts walking, we’ll have to renegotiate. Ambulatory humans below the age of 7 are nuisances.

But I own rope.

Dos vistas, again

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I CALL MY wife a child bride, but hereabouts some people take the phrase more to heart and actually do it.

Walking around the main plaza the other day, I couldn’t help but notice this young mama for two reasons. One, her youth, and two, she was decked out like a banana.

The age of consent in Mexico varies by state, and can be as low as 12. In the State of Nayarit, it’s set at puberty.

Between 12 or puberty and 16, 17 or even 18, you’ve entered a nebulous zone, depending on individual states.

The entire matter appears to be legally muddy or, as Wikipedia phrases it, complex.

It was her attire that made just a black-and-white photo unfair. I wanted both views, and here they are.

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The baby’s casket

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OUR NEIGHBORHOOD abuts the highway down the mountain to the state capital. If you get on that highway, drive about a quarter-mile, you’ll encounter a small settlement. Turn right there and go up a block or two.

You’ll spot it on the left. That is, if it’s open at the hour you pass. It’s a small, very basic funeral parlor. Occasionally, it’s closed. I know this because I sometimes come back to the Hacienda from downtown via a back route that takes me through that small settlement that only has one major street.

When the funeral parlor is open they often put a baby’s casket in the doorway. Come here, it cries out, if your child has died, something that likely is more common in Mexico than above the Rio Bravo.

I find this small coffin’s prominent display touching, poignant and a number of like-minded adjectives. I don’t recall ever seeing such a display as this when I lived above the border, which was most of my long life. But I’ve seen it in Mexico a number of times in a number of places.

Babies should not die.

My child bride

YoungMY WIFE possesses an exotic face. Her eyes are slanty, and she is thin-lipped. I am extremely taken with her face. She feels just the opposite.

Women are goofy.

Looking through an online photo gallery of her recently, I paused at this shot. It’s a detail of a far larger photo taken when she was about 7. She is holding a baby, one of her many siblings. Daddy never kept it in his pants.

The shot was taken somewhere in the State of Michoacán where she was born, raised and educated before moving to Mexico City where she worked 14 years as a civil engineer for the federal highway department.

That ended when she met me in 2002.

totThe second shot is even earlier. She was on Mexican beach around age 3 or 4, and she looks to have a bad attitude. This too is a detail from a much larger photo, which shows that she had been playing in mud.

Her hair is no longer short, and she’s quite a few years older, but still far younger than I am, and she still looks marvelous. She was my best Christmas present this year, as she’s been the best one for the past 14 years, the greatest gift from God ever.

Joseph Street

Adan and Agate’s first home, for they were young, was on Joseph Street just south of Saint Charles.

It was a tiny apartment carved out of a clapboard building by clever carpenters, an add-on and it showed. There was, however, a porch where the puppy lived.

Agate was a dog person, so she came with a puppy which was not Adan’s preferred lifestyle, but there was the puppy in any event, pooping everywhere.

A Joseph Street plus was the proximity of Langenstein’s supermarket just a block and a half away. A source of real coonass dining.

Though they had not been married long, Agate was already with child. And Adan had a job as a secretary at a battery factory situated in the Free Trade Zone abutting the Mississippi River.

He rode every cool winter morning from the apartment a couple of miles to the battery factory on a bicycle with ape-hanger handlebars. He had bought the bike cheap somewhere. Cash was scarce.

The battery factory had hired him as secretary because, for some reason unknown to Adan to this day, there were bathroom facilities only for men in their area of the Free Trade Zone.

But he did not last long there because he was a misfit.

And Joseph Street did not last long either. Adan and Agate found another apartment, larger, but also carved from a big building, on Dryades Street not far from the corner of Napoleon and Saint Charles.

streetcarProximity to Saint Charles was a plus due to the streetcar that ran that avenue. The bike with the ape-hanger bars was poorly suited for two persons especially when one was pregnant.

And one day they were three. A beautiful baby was born.

They named her Amoretta.

By that time, Adan was selling insurance, and the bicycle had been stolen from the front yard of the apartment on Dryades Street.

Yes, it was a multicultural neighborhood.

All of this transpired nearly half a century ago. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent, as they say.

Adan, long divorced from Agate, passed by the apartment on Joseph Street eight or so years ago. The porch had been sliced off. No puppies in residence.

Many things had changed.

But Langenstein’s was still there. Coonass dining never dies.