This came to me, a gesture from someone at the event, a rare photo of my son age two and a half. He was so stylin in his little Peruvian bowler and fringie leather jacket. He managed not to lose that hat for years–until? I don’t know. I don’t know what happened to it. Amos knows how to watch out for his stuff. Notice the sharp eye he’s laying on the dog who is sniffing around his basket. There may have been a candy or two; hippies weren’t big on wasting precious food money on empty calories. Those eggs he’s holding will go into that basket and be enjoyed, every one of them. The weather was good and we can’t see it here, but there was a pig or goat roasting in the ground beside the house. It may have been roasting all night, and I don’t remember eating it, but I do remember the guys tending it, especially so no kids would come near and fall into the pit. An old-fashioned matanza, I would come to learn the Hispanic tradition of the huge party, the roasting animal, the boards on saw horses with a feast pot-lucked by all for all.
The teenagers are sitting on a low, unfinished wall that marks the shape of a front yard where a few years later, when Amos is turning five, Lucia and her son Miguel, and Amos and I will take a turn at being the renters of the house. It was a nice place. A real house owned by the neighbor Fermin who ran his cows and sheep every where but that little yard. Out back were a couple of acres of cow-heavenly green and a pond with a raft that every kid who lived there was forbidden to play on, but most likely every one of them did. I used to go back there and watch Amos pole himself around the pond. He’d learned to swim but there were murky things, old wire and fence parts and it was dangerous. He was careful. He watched out, and a bit like me, his mother, I think he believed that no harm would come to him.