THE NEPHEW I once called The Little Vaquero graduated from Middle School yesterday. After the ceremony, we went out to lunch in a fancy place.
I have quite a few nephews, it being Mexico where people breed like bunnies, but this guy is the one I see most often, far more frequently than the others. He is my sister-in-law’s son, the woman who owns the coffee shop, and he was adopted fresh out of the hospital in nearby Santa Clara over 15 years ago.
This is how he looked back then. I took this photo as he sat on his new mother’s bed. Cute, huh?
The Vaquero’s had quite a few ups and downs in his still-short life. One of the worst parts was his father shooting himself to death in a sympathy play that went wrong about seven years ago.
It happened after his mother tossed her spouse out on the street due to philandering.
After that, the boy had just his mother, no father and no brothers or sisters. He and his mother quarrel a lot. She’s not well suited for motherhood. He and my child bride, however, are very close.
He’s had some unusual ambitions. For a good while, he wanted to be a priest. That notion’s been shelved, thank God, and a few months ago he announced he wants to be a model (!). My wife suspects that ambition is based in part on his idea that it’s a career that doesn’t require any studying, plus he combs his hair a lot and is fastidious about his clothes.
He does not like to study.
I doubt he’ll be a priest, and I doubt he’ll be a model. Since he’s not fond of studying, it’s almost certain he’ll follow in his mother’s footsteps as the owner of the coffee shop that will land in his lap. And that’s okay as long as he continues the custom of not charging me for café americano negro.