As a good Cuban Catholic, my first child was, obviously, to be baptized. He would first wear the family gown, before a costume change into the gown that I had made for him to pass down to his future children, (remade from an antique Edwardian wedding gown that I had found on Etsy), before changing into his last togs of the day, for brunch.
Holy cards were custom made, the madrina was selected from a gaggle of first cousins, and a lechon was ordered. Fortunately, my life long friend, and the priest that had baptized me, was flown in to do the honors. The baptism would be both in English and in Spanish, (though abuela would have preferred Latin). She wore a mantilla, and was dressed as though minutes away from an audience with the Holy Father. Anyone over the age of 40 clutched a well worn rosary, and no one was spared a bendición, (including confused Jewish friends).
As the Miami Tribe trickled in to stay at our home, there were various interesting reactions to our attempt at a healthier life:
Only old shoes track in pesticides and bacteria
“Dees choos are new. Don’ worry.” was the response to a lovely Etsy ordered sign that read: “Please leave your shoes here.”
Only nuts drink nut milk
“Das not milk. Almon’ not cow. Not make milk. You see almon’ say “moo”?” (Sound of fridge slamming.)
Using organic soap may cause your husband to leave you
“Where dees from?”
“The farmers market.”
“¿Qué? “Who go to farmer for jabón? Yew go to bank for dress? No! yew going to be stinkee an’ yew husban’ gonna look for nice smelling chica, if yew no careful.”
Installing whole house water purifiers is “una locura”
“In Cuba, we jus’ boil water. Ees best way. Not waste monee on pendejadas.”
(Note: Recent events in Flint, Michigan, confirm that our installation of a whole-house water purifier was indeed, a sage investment.)
Using organic diapers is “chowing off”
“An’ why dey no have preteey ones? Because ‘dey cheap, but charge yew more. I no smell bleach. Der no bleach.”
Organic clothes are boring
“He look like dose peoples dat sing at dee airpor’. Pobrecito.”
I could go on, (and on). But, as a green Latina parent, I am sure that you have heard your share of like comments.
By far the best quip from abuela was at the actual baptism. Quietly abuela asked if I had checked to make sure that the baptismal font was filled with organic water. “Maybe yew choo baptize him at Whole Foods,” she sniffed. And then she lowered her mantilla, covered her head, and made the sign of the cross.