A Tall Drink of Water’s son, who I’ll call Sunny, is five years old. Sunny’s mother was born and raised in the US, his father was born and raised in Mexico. He’s the mirror opposite of me-my father is from the States and my mother is from Mexico. Both Sunny and I have dual citizenship.
Around the time of President’s Day, Sunny’s teacher asked her students to fill in the following sentence: “If I were President of the United States, I would…”
And Sunny finished the sentence in this way: “help the immigrants.”
A Tall Drink of Water and her husband were touched by his answer. The responses and drawings were hung on clothespins in his class. Tall Drink gently asked Sunny why he drew the immigrants behind bars with dark skin.
As Tall Drink said in an email to me, “We had a funny five-year-old conversation that involved Zorro saving the immigrants from jail and the fat man and daddy’s cousins and then Sunny said, “I wished I had drawn another picture of them not being in jail.”
The following morning, Tall Drink told me that over waffles and bacon, Sunny said, “Um, Mom, you know Giselle’s, um Giselle’s husband? Why can’t he come to the States?”
It was a powerful wake-up call for Tall Drink to explain deportation to a five-year old. And she took a deep breath in, thinking about how it must be for children Sunny’s age, with Mexican fathers just like his, who get deported on a daily basis.
I had a long day of travel yesterday. When I arrived to Tall Drink’s house, the first thing that Sunny said to me was that he knew karate.
Sunny is working on his indoor voice. He’s an exuberant and open kid, with a lot to say.
But when his parents went into the kitchen, Sunny curled up on the chair next to me, dropped his head, and said softly, “Giselle, I’m sorry that you’re husband can’t come into this country.”
I didn’t want to lose it in front of Sunny.
So I hugged him, gave him a kiss and said, “Thank you sweetie. One day you might be able to see him here in the States. Or you’ll see him with me in Mexico when you visit, because we’ll be living there.”
He smiled shyly, and then ran into the kitchen with his parents.
Sunny’s got my vote if he ever runs for President of the United States, guaranteed.