Friday, October 19, 2007

happy birthday, baby elena

baby elena is five years old today. she is my sister's daughter, and my only god-daughter. on the day she was baptized, i walked into my sister's bedroom to find my mother holding baby elena who was screaming her little dark-curly head off.

this baby wants to stay a little pagan, my mother said.

well, tell her she's got the right godmother, i replied.

my mother pursed her lips, rolled her eyes, shook her head and sighed to heaven. but she didn't tell me not to whisper a prayer or two of my own as the priest poured water on elena's forehead and sealed her with the chrism of salvation. besides, there was always something in elena's big brown eyes that told me she was indeed one of My Kind.

this year elena told my sister she'd like to go to disney world and see the princesses - just the two of them - no papa, no baby alex, who at two is the bane of elena's world, in much the same way my brother john was of mine at that age.

then she looked at her father, who doesn't have much time for disney. and you, papa, says elena, don't you make any fuss about it.

my mother shared this story with me and as we were laughing i said, maybe i better tell andi and sheila that elena was born on the anniversary of the Big Crash of '87. clearly she's a Force to be Reckoned With.

nah, said my mother. let them find out the way the rest of us do.

how's that, i asked.

by surprise, she cackled softly.

that's mean, i said.

you get better stories that way, she replied.

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