Tuesday, July 29, 2008


We spent the day here yesterday, Seaside, Oregon, just 1 1/2 hours away from Portland. The weather was a perfect 62 degrees, sunny, clear blue sky, and best of all, we followed Rojo's month-long plan for the exact execution of the day.

"We will leave at 10:55 AM and get to the beach at 12:25 PM. Then we will go to "the claw" at the arcade and you will grab a football for me. Then we will go to the sand and I will play CFL (Canadian Football League) for three games. And you will keep score. You will write in the sand. Don't forget. Promise you won't forget. You will watch three CFL games and you will not forget to keep score."

We left at 10:55, arrived at the arcade, where I promptly turned a $20 bill into 80 quarters, and inserted at least 40 of them into a hungry claw machine, until I successfully grabbed the 4" New England Patriots stuffed football (retail value? .99).

Delighted, we then proceeded to the beach, where STM was first instructed to create a "tee" for Rojo to kick off. Donning the hockey-turned-football helmet we brought from home, calculator in his right hand, $10 football in his left, the game commenced.

"Are you remembering to keep score? Remember, it is CFL. Don't forget to keep score. Promise you won't forget to keep score?"

I kept score.

I didn't forget.

We rented two sand bikes and STM, Woohoo and I took turns on them, spelling each other from Rojo, whom we renamed "The Barker" as he barked orders non-stop.

"I'll go on a bike ride with you, Woohoo, Daddy can stay with The Barker."

Rojo beams - loves being The Barker - loves that we are all about to lose it with him, but never actually do, because just when he's pushed us to the limit, he says or does something so funny, so endearing, we all laugh.

"Dad! Will you build me a sand TV? Will you build me a sand chair to watch my sand TV? Will you find me a stick remote to use on my sand TV?"

STM follows The Barker's instructions perfectly, and for a full 90 seconds Rojo is enthralled with his sand system, just long enough for me to get a photo showing his legs splayed in perfect recliner fashion, eyes fixed straight ahead at the "TV" and the "remote" poised straight at it, clicking it to channel 55, for "Seinfeld."

"Dad! I am watching George Costanza losing it! He is saying 'jack ass!'"

Woohoo and I pull our beach blankets away from the boys and try to read our books, but The Barker won't hear of it.

"It is time for salt water taffy! We will get a 20-pack! We will leave in five minutes and we will get salt water taffy, and you will pick out 20 pieces for me, because I really need a 20-pack!"

We'd been warned that he would need salt water taffy at 4:30, and at 4:25 he gave us our marching orders.

As we walk down to the candy store he grabs my hand, holds it while simultaneously trying to break free and clutching tightly.

"I like holding your hand, Barker," I say, "but I can't tell if you want to hold it or let go?"

That's it, isn't it, he's getting older, 12 now, and he can't decide either, which side of childhood he is on.

What I do know is in light of the incomprehensible loss of Vicki's son, Evan, I know which side I'm on.


Suzy said...

LOVE that boy.....

I'm watching the same brand TV...... Sandsung........

Love you


drama mama said...

Just the salve I needed. Thank you for this. And thank you, RoJo.

Kathryn said...


grammer said...

I love the way you write these family scenes. xo

Anonymous said...

You paint such a beautiful picture, reminds me of how precious our children are.

We are all connected, the love and caring exists, like invisible rope.

The universe does not seem so big after all. Thank you for this beautiful post Carrie.

holly said...

Me, too, love how you write the family pieces. Your writing just soars in them.

Retiredandcrazy said...

We spent a happy couple of days at Seaside with our friends Jack & Betsy from Seattle. Jack grew up in the area. Please come over to my blog and pick up a "share the love" award.

Michelle O'Neil said...



Deb said...

Beautiful sweet writing. Beautiful sweet day. So glad you had it - all four of you.