"At middle age the soul should be opening up like a rose, not closing up like a cabbage."
-John Andrew Holmes

Monday, June 2, 2014

Boys In The River

We are into the solid, golden days season. Every morning begins chilly and the boys shiver in their t-shirts at the breakfast table because A has opened all the windows the night before to get his fill of fresh air. By noon everyone is barefoot and many bare-chested, all in the sunshine on the lawn and every hand filthy and filled with sticks and rocks and whatever else they're digging up and tying together with pilfered yarn.

Today we went to the park downtown so the boys could suck the nectar out of clover blossoms, skateboard around on the sidewalks and end with a good splash in the river. I sat on the river rocks next to a Guatemalan daddy whose two little boys were in the river too, splashing and grinning. He told me about working in a local kitchen and showed me pictures of himself grinning with his chef knife, hotel pans and kitchen whites.

He said:
         "I cook 300 lobsters every Saturday night. I bake them in the oven for 15 minutes and then pull them out, slice them in half for serving." 

Today was his day off.

We watched our boys collect sticks and stalk minnows, fall in and take turns helping each other to the opposite bank.

I collected clam shells for the baby and lined them up on a rock, one of my boys fell in and we all laughed and the man cocked his head at me and added,
"I grew up on a river like this....in my country. We were always swimming."
"I have a ticket to go back this month."
I asked, "For how long?"
He grinned, "Two weeks."

We team-worked together, counting down the five minutes warning to our collective children and then he hunted wet shirts and unrolled leg cuffs while I hefted the baby on my hip and encouraged boy goodbyes and we wandered slowly back up the sidewalk to the car.

"Mucho gusto." I told him, when we reached our cars in neighboring parking spots.
"Nice to talk." He said and our boys waved muddy sticks to each other out of the car windows.

I should have asked for a picture of him and his sons. It didn't cross my mind.
Photobucket

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