I think I’ve mentioned before that my mother-in-law Carmen will be coming back with us from Colombia to care for Elian when I have to return to work full time. I think I might have also talked about how we let her pick Elian’s middle name because we greatly appreciate this act of love because she is extremely afraid to come to the US. Abuela Carmen is terrified of planes. She is to planes as Indiana Jones is to snakes. It has always been my hope though that my children would be able to have a close relationship with their grandparents the way I was able to spend everyday with my grandmother. But I have a feeling that Abuela Carmen and Elian might end up having more than just a close relationship because I am now convinced that Abuela Carmen has superpowers. A bit of background: Elian is a hyper-active kid, I mean even for a toddler he seems a little bit on the Richard Simmons side. He is a ton of fun every day, but he is not the type to quietly play with his blocks in the corner. He is the type to open and close the door while shrieking at full strength for 2 hours or so. He can also spend hours throwing cell phones or screaming because we won’t give one to him.
Abuela Carmen has not yet met Elian yet because she lives in another state. She’ll probably be coming in a few weeks to Bogota to get her visa etc. but she is VERY anxious to meet Elian so she calls everyday. Tonight we decided to make the extremely dubious choice of letting her talk to him on the phone. I was pretty sure that he would try to throw the phone across the room and then scream when we wouldn’t give it to him. If we were extra lucky we’d get a full blown-parents start-counting-to-100-must-stay-calm style temper tantrum.
Instead something unimaginable happened. The second he heard her voice he was lulled into a state that was equal parts comatose and tender. He smiled sweetly, placed his hand gently on the phone and snuggled into Arnold’s chest for a long chat with abuelita. For the next 10 minutes or so he laid on Arnold’s chest babbling softly to her and when they were done chatting he turned to Arnold’s face and I held my breath as I saw my son kiss his Dad's cheek for the first time.