Right now, Adiel is outside with his two uncles and a cousin. Amely is running in and out, and Samil went to the corner store, colmado, to buy some yucca for dinner. I'm trying to get some work done (obviously. That's why I'm writing a blog post).
It's dusk. So, that's dangerous, and I shouldn't even allow the baby to be outside. In fact, the cousin was concerned when she picked up the baby and said she was going outside.
"Eh, this is okay, right? He's not going to get sick, right? I can take him with me, right?"
It's very important not to take your children outside after dark - and I've come to realize that the witching hour is the worst. The northern wind blowing from the sea can really do a number on the baby's digestive system - everything from the pujo to the green poop. And, since we're such bad parents and have neither put azavaches -charms- nor bracelets to protect our kids from such things, I have to be really careful about green poop.
You may remember our community witch, Luisa. I hadn't seen her in awhile, but the other day I took the baby to school with me. I had a bunch of things to do (like hand out Student of the Month certificates and eat candy), and the students were bugging to meet Adiel.
Luisa showed up.
She looked at the baby carefully, but never asked to carry him. "Oh, he's so big, God bless him." "Oh, he's so handsome, God bless him." "Oh, look at that hair, God bless him." I think she could tell I was getting frustrated with her accolades for things that we really have no control over, so she decided to explain to me. "If I don't say God bless him, you will think I'm jealous and trying to give him the mal de ojo - evil eye. And I know what people say about me around here."
She finally reached out her hand to touch the baby. She grabbed his ankle, and then his wrist and wanted to know why he had no protection. I thought she meant socks. Silly me. She meant protection from curses - protection from the people who do not follow every compliment with "God bless him," because they are, obviously, trying to give the baby mal de ojo. "You need to get this baby santiguado right away, he has no protection! You need to go to someone who knows about this and have the prayers said over him!"
Luisa then asked me if we had "thrown water" on the baby - a home baptism of sorts, an added layer of protection. We haven't. And we didn't "throw water" on our other babies either, so I think we're okay. But, Luisa is sure we need to do something because we haven't done anything. Do we know the danger we're putting our children in by not protecting them from brain-eating witches? Surely I didn't know, you know as a foreigner, the absolute terror of having the local witch swoop down and suck the brains right out of my baby's head during the night.
There are a lot of things to worry about with a baby. Is he clean? Is he healthy? Is he sleeping too much? Not enough? What's that lump on his head? Is it too hot to go out? Is it too cold to go out? Is the crazy northern wind going to give my baby the bad poops?
I'm not sure that Luisa got the irony of her, the renowned community witch who tap-dances on roof tops, giving me advice to protect the baby from... well, from the community witch. But I like her, she's an eccentric old woman who seems to want to protect people around her. God bless her heart.