|Fact: 89% of childhood domestic violence stems from this shit right here|
--live on the beach
--have a cool dog
--use six spoons when making brownies so everyone gets one to lick.
But Paco* is my favorite and the only one I want to adopt.
He's heartbreakingly sweet and innocent, almost inconceivably so considering he's a pre-pubescent tween from the worst part of Tijuana and his parents are going through a hideous, all-screaming all-throwing divorce.
I love him with the sort of pure, crystalline love I normally reserve for good Scotch and shiny things.
|Like this, with mall bangs|
Aside from being sweet and innocent, he's also smart, charming, funny and a little chubby, like a Latino Bobby Hill.
Last summer, he ran shirtless and giddy along the beach with his younger, skinny cousins. He let his belly fly and it did my heart good to see a fat person --even a junior varsity fat person-- be that free and open on the beach.
|Seriously, how can you NOT love Bobby Hill?|
It was way less awkward than giving his teenage brother a handful of The Best Condoms Ever, and any strike against the heartbreak of thigh chafing is on the side of the well-lubricated angels.
Now Paco's on a diet.
He's worried about being fat and that worries me.
His family constantly mentions his stomach, drawing attention to it even in front of strangers.
HLB --nicknamed Gordito before puberty put an end to his pudge-- has called them out on it, and stopped calling his twin 5 nephews Flaco and Gordo. I know those nicknames are standard operating procedure in Latin America, but it still makes my blood boil.
|Every mirror is a funhouse mirror with cool new Body Dysmorphia|
But the family --of which HLB is the only svelte member-- saves their worst for already sensitive Paco, and he suffers for it big time.
As if this kid, as if any kid, doesn't have enough problems just trying to grow up in a messed up world, now his family --the people who are responsible for loving him and not fucking him up-- have to make fun of his weight, too?
Oh, and did I mention he's on a diet despite living in a house where there's rarely any food?
The week after HLB's birthday party, which included a piñata with some money in it, he discovered Paco used his winnings to buy a sack of potatoes and some eggs. Apparently his mother's newfound freedom included freedom from keeping food in the house while she was cheap lycra and acrylic square-tipping it up with her boyfriend who SPOILER ALERT is almost definitely a) married b) affiliated with a cartel.
And you're going to give the kid crap for a bit of pudge? Really?
|"Gosh I really hope I can scramble up enough pesos to provide myself with basic human sustenance" said no happy kid ever|
Everyone knows I gave up shame the same year I gave up Electric Youth as my signature scent, but shouldn't failing to provide for your children rank just a little higher on the Shame Spectrum than having a pre-pubescent potbelly?
We provide for him as best we can through a series of carefully-constructed coincidences specially designed for maximum face-saving (he's probably already feeling pretty low about his parents, no need to make it worse), all while counting down the days until we can afford to have him live with us full time.
Until then I need your help.
If you were a chubby kid with a rotten home life and incompetent self-involved parents --not exactly a muscle-ripping stretch for some of us-- what would you have liked to hear from an adult who loved you?
I'd like to think HLB and I are proof positive that a big person can find love with a great partner, but what else should I make sure to tell him? I'm new to the whole nurturing thing, so help a sister out and put it in the comments.
*Not his real name, of course