We were small fry in a grown up world, our dresses starched, our hair tight-curled on a candlestick by mothers who scrubbed the faces of small brothers with fingers they had spit upon to purge the dirt they’d lit upon.
We had no choice in any of this. Nor in the neighbor lady’s kiss. Sour and moldy though she might smell, we pretended we loved it well. So went the life in days gone by so long as you were just small fry.
Now children pose for selfies and diss the thought of an old lady’s kiss. They refuse to run through traces. Don’t allow spit-scrubbed-at faces. Skirts go unstarched, hair goes uncurled now that children rule the world!
Morrie had a wonderful time on the beach yesterday with these three enthusiastic playmates and for once I had two hands free to snap photos. And in case you wonder, no that little girl isn’t holding him by the tail!!
These are priceless, so please click on first one so you can see them all enlarged in a slideshow. Some of them made need a few seconds to come into focus. Be patient.
Filthy little urchin, dirty little boy—
who could tell from looking that you’d be such a joy?
We never would have chosen you by following our nose,
but when we scraped the dirt off and laundered all your clothes,
we recognized you as our own, devoid of dirt and grime,
and now that you are family and with us all the time,
mud puddles still attract you. Dirt piles call your name.
But now it doesn’t matter. We love you all the same.
My gardener’s youngest son Ishmael is a rare bird. First of all, he’s rarely seen, as he is extremely shy. He has also in the past been frightened of my dogs, me, all of the kids at school, his teacher and anyone who isn’t a parent or brother. Over the past year, I’ve been trying to curry his favor with coloring books, toys, balls to throw for the dog and most recently, an Easter Egg hunt that involved both candy and toys. At first he was shy, hiding behind his parents, but by the end of the time he was here he was rushing around the front garden trying to fill his basket. These photos record some former times, including his first approach to Diego–a very rare occasion! (Click to enlarge photos.)
Although he looks like he’d rather be anyplace but here, his hand was actually the first one that shot up when the teacher asked who would like to run for king. Five years later, he is taller than his mom… and almost as tall as I am. Sweet Oscar. Wonder what he’d think of those blue satin knee pants now???
Here is a picture taken two days ago. It is of Oscar, his dad Pablo, his mom Yolanda, sister Yoli and me, aboard the pontoon boat Batur for a fundraising concert to send a San Juan Cosala girl to music camp in Huntsville, Alabama. First time anyone in the family had been on the lake, in spite of the fact that they were all born here. Yoli was thrilled! More photos to follow. I look frazzled. I was! Oscar has changed from being a frog prince to a bat man!