Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"We're country."
By Michael

Life is good for the Robertson girls. They miss daily some
of the people and animals that were a part of their D.C.
lives, but never any other aspects. One thing neither
Windy nor I anticipated is how this new life would bring
the two together. From the first day of our road trip, we
noticed a marked difference in the way they enjoy and
appreciate each other's company. Though this is likely
driven by circumstance (love the one you're with),
as a parent it is gratifying nonetheless.
In the summer of 2006, Brittney Spears used two words to explain why she zooms down PCH with her infant either in her lap or improperly restrained in the back of her convertible. Since that episode, I have several times--in my most culturally insensitive unflattering way--mocked her retort, and with a southern accent. I should probably stop.
Over the years, we spent hundreds of dollars to properly restrain our kids. We explained the importance of always being strapped in and we delighted when their little hands became strong enough to manage this task on their own. We saw the girls through several rights of passage: from rear-facing clip-in, to rear-facing infant seat, to forward-facing infant seat, to toddler seat, to booster seat, and now to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.
La Cruz is a first-gear town. Not by ordinance nor enforcement, but by common sense. Toddlers and dogs seem to always be on the cobblestoned streets of this little pueblito. Sidewalks are narrow or non-existent and so families spend their siestas on plastic chairs shaded by street trees, in the street. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, taco stands spill themselves and their customers onto the streets, often restricting two lanes to one. No cones nor concrete barriers, just people out in the streets: eating, sitting, talking, playing. There are no stop signs.
I think I was the first to tell the girls they don’t have to wear seat belts while we drive in La Cruz. They were overjoyed with the novelty of it. Days later they were crawling forward into the front seats with us. When Eleanor and I went together to collect the bundles of laundry from the lavanderia, I let her sit in the front passenger seat alone, unrestrained. Later still, on my special night out with Frances, I let her sit up front on my lap and steer on the gravel road that extends to the marina parking lot. And today, when the girls and I went out to get ice creams and pick up more laundry, I opened the back hatch and let them sit back there for the trip.
“Guys, don’t fall out or Mom’s not going to let you do this ever again.”
“We won’t. Thanks Dad.”
I guess we’re “country” too—though Eleanor did make a bid to sit on top of the car and I hardly hesitated before saying no. That’s tough love.

We had a team of metal workers at the boat today, three of them. Here a worker is grinding
one of six new stanchion support pieces in his vice. They are also fixing some cracks on
the davits, fabricating two vertical supports and one horizontal support for the bow
pulpit, and installing hand rails on the dodger sides. We will decide tomorrow if we
want them to make an additional anchor roller for us. 

1 comment:

  1. And what does Ms. Safety Monitor have to say about this?


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