Wela was beaming. She described all the colorful desserts to me in Spanish, waving her arm across the spread on the table like Vanna White. My grandmother had the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I’d ever known. We were celebrating a new baby. I knew this somehow without question. She smiled, serving me a slice of something topped with almonds. (I guess I’m not allergic to nuts in my dreams.)
When I was awakened abruptly by that scene last fall, my mind lingered there, refusing to let go of the image of a much younger Manuela, standing tall and thin with a huge grin. She shows up like this every few months, in the wee hours of my sleep, to say hello. That’s the only thing I can figure. It was September 12. I wrote it down.
A baby dream, I read, can often symbolize new beginnings. I couldn’t imagine what, but I didn’t spend too much time trying to analyze it because a few weeks later, it was clear as a bell. You see, my brother told me soon after that he was going to be a father. We shed a few quiet tears together, and I listened as he talked himself through this new life-altering realization.
“It’s going to be OK.” I told him.
“You’re going to be a great dad.”
“I’m here for whatever you need.”
“I love you.”
Earlier this month, my nephew was born. I held him carefully in my arms that first day, staring in awe at that tiny face full of light.
“Welcome,” I whispered. “I’m your tia.”
I thought of Wela in that dream so many months ago. She knew. And she was getting a head start on the celebration.