When Flaco was born, I read him the book "Danny the Champion of the World" which is a terrible title because it sounds like it would be about sports, which is most definitely not. It's about this kid who lives in an old gitano trailer with his dad, who runs a filling station. The story is about how they poach pheasants by stuffing bloated raisins (I think raisins? I read it in Spanish and they were called "pasas de corinto" and I'm not quite sure how a Corinthian pasa would differ from a regular pasa) with sleeping pills and sewing them shut. I read this book when I was in 7th grade, during which time I accidentally skipped a year or math (due to losing my schedule early on in the year) and ended up frittering away 5th hour in the library every day. (Also where I discovered Karl Marx, The Ugly American, Johnny got his gun, and a slew of how-to books on magic tricks.) No books on fractions, unfortunately. All this to say, some 14 years later I remembered this book and thought my babyboy might enjoy it, so I checked it out and read it to him. I think there is something kind of -what is the word?- irreplaceable about the relationship between a dad and his son. Matt and his boy are the image of this. Sometimes when Matt thinks I'm asleep upstairs, I just lay there pretending, eavesdropping. (This is how I discovered that Matthew was "correcting" Lucas's speech: for example, "No Flaco, not 'up up up,' se dice 'puh puh puh. Di 'puh.'" Or perhaps "No Flaco, no se dice 'me too,' se dice "pe too.'" ) He misses how his babyboy used to mispronounce words. He misses it when Lucas loses his accent and learns a correct English vowel. At the same time, he thinks to teach him all kinds of new things that would never have occurred to me. Jazz hands. The names of the presidents* in reverse-chronological order. (We're stuck at Bush II, but he repeats the names back through Nixon very nicely.) Facts about said presidents. ("Carter wore cardigans and grew up on a peanut farm and had very big lips! Repeat, Lucas, 'Tenia labios grandes!'") How to catch a frog. How to make hummus. He's nervous about raising a daughter (he once told me "Maybe she could kind of be your kid and Lucas could be mine**") but I personally can't wait. Can't wait to see him with our babygirl, can't wait to see what new things he will come up with this time around.
*Flaco is quite taken with Obama. I caught him sitting on the couch leafing through a copy of time the other day, and when he got to a caricature of our president, what did I overhear but "I love you, Obama." Always says his name in a gravelly little voice. Don't know why.
**I of course pointed out what a terrible suggestion this was. "They kind of scare me" was his response. "Obviamente" I said.
3 weeks ago