“Can I hold him?” I asked Danny, my cousin.
“Yeah,” he gladly handed over Rubén, his 8 month old son. “My arm is getting tired. I think I’m even sweating.”
Rubén looked at me curiously. He looked down at the pendant hanging on a thin silver chain around my neck. With his chubby little fingers, he started pulling.
“No, papas, don’t pull that.” I got the pendant out of his tight grip and moved it out of his reach behind my neck. As I pulled my hair aside Rubén noticed my earrings and started touching them too.
“Oh no, papas,” I said. Rather than figure out just how hard an 8-month old can pull, I took out the earrings.
“He likes looking at stuff and seeing people,” Danny called out to me.
“Oh okay,” I said and walked with him around the house. His dark brown eyes darted back and forth as he checked out the paintings on the walls and family he rarely sees enjoying Mother’s Day. I took him to the sunny backyard where my uncles were seated. Rubén looked at them calmly. I tried to sit down, but he wasn’t having it, so I took him to see the fish tank in my grandparent’s room. On the way there, we passed Elsie and Danny. Rubén turned to his mom, smiled and then turned back toward me.
“He smiled and barely looked at me!” she said, surprised as we kept walking to the living room.
“You know,” Elsie began, “he doesn’t go with just anyone. And he definitely doesn’t smile with most people.”
“Yeah, he likes you. I think you have good chemistry with kids.”
“Maybe… or it could be that I just know how to make the boys smile,” I joked.
A few minutes later, Elsie and Danny started saying their goodbyes. As he gave me my goodbye hug, he said, “now we know who to call to babysit.”
I’d be down.
There’s nothing like a well-behaved baby to help me get my baby fix.