Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Please Stop The Cute

I'm now using unapproved words.

Adorable is a word I never use. Adorable is not a guy word. Adorable resides beneath contempt in a dark hole where guys do not go, and its roommate is cute.

Cute pukes chunks. Adorable? Ack!

But I have to say it – Ecuadorian kids are adorable.

They make me regret not having gone that route. Hell, I've had only one, ah – how you say in English – girlfriend, and she couldn't have children, by choice, since her only pregnancy had been so terrible for her, which in turn says a lot about family life.

Then again, why bother? The Ecuadorians have all bases covered. Los indigenos, los mestizos – that about covers it. I haven't been to the Amazon Basin, but I'm sure that los indios or whatever they call people there have cute kids too. (Notice how I just used the word cute? I think I'm losing it.)

They are tiny, the kids. I suppose they grow up somehow, but I see mostly the teensy ones being carried on Mom's back in a sling, or sometimes walking alongside Mom and Dad – a li'l nipper barely tall enough to stand, but putting on a good show of keeping up, tiny legs pumping randomly, and the faces – really indescribable – I have to force myself not to stare. They are (there is a word for this, isn't there...) adorable.

While standing in line at Coral Hipermercado at Mall del Río on Sunday, I looked down. In front of me and several feet below my modest eye level was one of the adorables, looking up, at me, fascinated. I know I'm ugly, but this was still fun.

I smiled.

The child smiled, all black hair and dark eyes and incredible delicate features.

I shifted my purchase-to-be, money, and cap to one hand and did a child-wave (keeping the hand still and flapping all my fingers in one motion).

The tiny child way down below waved back in just the same way, then lifted her right hand, palm up, and held it still, expecting. Something.

Expecting what I did not know, so I put one finger into her hand, expecting her fingers to close around mine, but that was enough – just a touch. She seemed satisfied.

A parent in a parallel line called the child back and she went and that was that.

But I will never forget the magic of that quiet moment.

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