The other night, while we were at the taco joint from the Tooth Fairy entry, Luca got bored. After being ejected from both his parents’ laps, he took notice of a giant sliding glass door that separated the air-conditioned American area from the far more festive patio. Outside, there were groups of twentysomethings. They swung on rope swings that acted as seats for the taco tables, and engaged in activities which would later result in a visit to the pharmacia the next morning for ointment.
Luca pressed his face against the door and a group of young women laughed, smiled and waved. They were of that mystery age that could have been 18, 25 or 28. Ages that required I avert my eyes. But Luca was transfixed. He focused on one blond girl who had a decidedly Norwegian look. He shyly smiled and waved.
And the Norwegian waved back!
I leaned down and said, “You should go talk to her.”
Luca buried his face into my lap. “No,” he moaned.
Good. He was still my son. Scared of girls.
A little more flirting back and forth happened and I noticed Luca was absolutely smitten. In an effort to cement his status as a Hamann through and through, I suggested he go give the girl the tiny seashell he had been sucking on.
“Okay,” he said.
What now? He wanted to give a big, blond Norwegian girl a present? Who was this kid?
“You have to come with me,” he said.
“Um. No. I don’t do that. You see, I’m a Hamann.” I suggested he use Elijah as his wingman.
Eli needed to know immediately what that entailed.
“A wingman is someone who comes with you when you want to talk to a pretty girl. They help you if you get into trouble. Or so I’m told.”
Eli, who is far more Jacklich than Hamann, immediately agreed to accompany Luca unto the valley of tan girls.
They boys strolled out of America and into the steamy environs of the opposite sex. Luca held out the seashell to the girl and she swooned. She leapt from her swing and gave him a hug. He beamed and blushed. And whatever chance he might be gay flew away into the Costa Rican night.
Diana later found out the girl’s name was Matilda. And I think Luca will always associate this trip with his first step away from being a Hamann.