Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday's Meatloaf - la vida padre

**I've evidently become accustomed to communicating in spanglish while on my trip to Central America. So an occasional word pops up here and there that may seem out of place. This may be an inconvenience, but el doctor assures me it is a symptom that will wear off. Lo siento mi amigo.

Searched for a nice blogging trabajo all last week in Costa Rica. It's such a beautiful country, and I'm pretty sure my kids would've taken the better part of their teen years to locate their parents so deep in the rain forest. Thereby saving me the pleasure of their angst ridden drama over clothes that don't match and other tales in being a diva. They don't teach geography until high school right? They probably think we were in Africa, or even California. Kids are dumb like that sometimes. It's cute actually.
Skeeter...not much of a mixologist

But, my interview with a local fütbol team didn't go as well as planned. I scored it a tie but they gave the job to a local chico just 13 years old. He evidently knew you weren't supposed to start singing Glory Glory when a referee pulled a tarjeta roja out of his back pocket. So much for being an undocumented American blogger in Quepos. What a hotshot little Ernesto was, with his Bic pen and his booko de notas. Throwing out knowledge about local soccer legends and then bribing the human resources guy with plantains. All I had was a half finished Cohiba and a stick of Juicy Fruit.

I'm dumb like that sometimes. It's not cute anymore.

So that's when the plane brought me back to y'all. And my kids. They were all jumping on me and kissing my face like I was the lead guitarist for Def Leppard "vocalist" of a boy band. As it turns out, I missed being a dad. Even more than I missed things like roaming data servicio, a wider selección of bourbon and not having geckos shit on the dinner table. I know it was only a week. But at my house I'm kind of a big deal. In Manuel Antonio I'm just another American tourist that can't roll his R's. That's what I get for taking spanish uno in high school from a black chick that grew up in New Jersey.

But really, being a padre is great. That local kid that knows a kick over the goal isn't worth tres points has no idea how good I have it. Yesterday, while he was probably dribbling dangling participles into his rice and beans I was getting home made cards and hugs. My niños know I'm not perfect. They know I couldn't execute a bicycle kick if you gave me two training wheels. And yet they still love me...

Yes. Dads' imperfections are expected and, dare I say, even wanted. My kids don't know what "dreams I flushed down the toilet", but they go nuts for me when I turn them upside down and tickle their feet. And in the end that's a bigger thrill than any half-ass post I could've written in spanglish about a Costa Rican high school star that Rivals rates as a four star midfielder. Whatever the hell that is. Those people can't even spell soccer right. No wonder they were so excited to tie Mexico last week.

La Pura Vida = REAL fresh sushi
So no, I didn't get the job and Fernando kicked me out of the house once the week's rent was up. But as a parting gift they shared with me their mantra. In Costa Rica they say "La Pura Vida", which literally translates to "the pure life". But it comes closer to meaning "living life to the fullest". And while last week that meant catching huge fish out of the Pacific waters with my homeboy Chita and trying to train our monkey "Skeeter" to mix a bourbon and ginger ale, this week it means loving my kids. Being a dad and a husband, and a wage earner and a spider killer when the oportunidad presents itself.

And that's why I didn't mind throwing their half-asleep, limp bodies over my shoulder late last night and lugging them to their bed. That's mi trabajo chico - la vida padre!

So I leave you with one more Father's Day moment that is muy especial. David Hood is a musical legend in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. His son Patterson is the lead man for my favorite band. They sat down together recently and jammed a bit. Respect yourself dudes. Your kids will follow suit. I promise.

¡Mucho gusto! Reader. Have a great day!