Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bowing to higher authorities

Yesterday when we picked up Allison from school she was immensely cheerful. She'd met two little sisters from Colorado whose father is working with the Loreto Bay Company. I'm certain the girls, 10 and 8 years old, immediately took Allison under their wings based on their shared common origin as gringo kids. I first laid eyes on them that morning on our way to school. The two were obviously late, racing down the main street to make the bell, (in parochial school there is no toleration for tardiness.) That made me smile and like them immediately, me relating deeply to my little fellow Americans in that frantic dash against time. So Allison had a good second day. The friends, and the new Disney princess back-pack loaded with lunch goodies added a level of needed comfort.

Later that day we headed to the fabric store for needle and thread for me to alter the buttons on Allison's school skirt and purchase the required green and white hair ribbons. We saw the two sisters on their bicycles. They were just leaving an Hawaiian dance class(!??) they told us. You should come next time, they said to Allison. Then they asked her to come along to the local park where their father is constructing an adobe shelter donated by the LB Company. The younger one said, get on, and scooted her bottom back in the bicycle seat to make room for Allie. I smiled again remembering those days where I raced around on my bike totally unsupervised. These girls were free-spirited and foot-loose in a small town where kids can race around, until probably, dusk. Speaking for our little cub, we declined their offer but said we'd drive there after finishing another errand. Maybe, in time, we'll grow more comfortable with the idea of letting our daughter roam about, and I hope we do.

At the park Robert and I visited with the girls' father as he worked on the adobe. He is a master bricklayer specializing in construction of the domed ceilings (bovedas) common in Spanish architecture. He went to Spain over Christmas just to view and study the craft. Next to his structure his daughters are building their own little shelter with the discarded, inferior bricks. The oldest showed Allie how to slather mortar on a brick and stack it on the structure. Already, Allison was helping the girl dream up ideas for dog houses or mouse houses. Their father is short on help and Robert, in neighborly fashion, offered his. Tommorow he may be lifting bricks! I overheard Allison (in the way that kids forthrightly ask for things) basically striking a deal with the sisters to be comrades: "You are the only girls I know that speak English so that means we have to be friends." She didn't need to ask, those adorable girls were happy to accept her. I couldn't be more thankful. Allison finally has girlfriends!

That evening I adjusted the buttons on Allison's skirt and set Robert to work prying the rhinestones and enamel Hello Kitty faces off of the only black shoes we brought along for Allison. Then I took a black permanent marker to the embroidered embellishments on the shoes so they would pass as acceptable for school. This morning I helped her dress in her new school uniform, tying her hair back with a rubber band and the ribbons. She looked so darn cute. Of course, she hates tucking in the shirt and wearing knee socks. "It's the rules," we say and how nice that felt to throw the blame for something we actually want but don't want to fight over, to some higher authority for once.

On the way home today we saw the infamous Oscar, the police dog, patrolling with the policia. No, he is not a trained canine but a scrappy mutt the officers took a liking to. This dog has adopted through association the attitude of martial authority. Oscar rides in the open truckbed sniffing the air with serious purpose. When the police pull over to investigate something Oscar jumps out and noses his way into the center of the interest. We have seen him growl Larry, Curly, and Darryl, who rule our corner and are three times his size, into submission. Oscar the policia perro. Just proving that a little attitude goes a long way.

No comments: