Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Our Mexican hotel butted up against a lovely beach the locals described as, “No longer where we dumb our sewage” and, “Rumors of sewage are exaggerated!” The boys and I loved it. They would tumble around the waves and I would warn them about the vicious butt biting Mexican Carp. And then pinch their butts.

One morning at breakfast, we met a very nice American couple, who described walking around Chicago dressed as Klingons when they heard where we were from. I made a mental note to avoid them.

The man, Jim, suggested we take the boys out on the hotel provided kayaks later that day. “You don’t gotta sign them out or anything. We’ll each take a boy and paddle out to the big rocks. It will be great!” Elijah and Luca burned holes into my brain with their eyes.

There was no way that was going to happen. But I was interested in a solo kayak mission with the boys. For no other reason than to prove to them I was willing to put my sons in danger like Jim.

I convinced Luca to go with me first. Eli was a little more hesitant because boating would cut into his Youtube time. We dragged the plastic kayak out to the waves and I plopped Luca on top. It suddenly dawned on me that I had never actually been on a kayak before. And had zero idea how to: a) get on it. And b) pilot the vessel. I looked out at the waves crashing on the rocks and thought, “This isn’t how you die, Hamann. You are meant for a heart attack.”

After capsizing our ship so many times it became more interesting to the beach vendors than selling their grains of rice with your name on it, we managed to put out to sea. I demanded total stillness on Luca’s part, so I could have complete concentration. But after a while we hit calmer waters and both fell in love with our tiny blue boat.

We then talked about our lives. I told Luca I was kind of scared about my new job and he described in detail this terrible video game he was obsessed with called Robloks.

I would press him for more details about his life. “Tell me one secret you’ve never told anyone, Luca. I promise not to reveal it to anyone.”

“Well, this one time on Roblocks…”

This became our daily ritual. I would paddle out into the ocean and beg Luca to tell me about his life and he would regale me of stories about this one time on Roblocks.

Finally, after days of cajoling, I managed to get Luca to tell me one non-Roblocks secret he had told no one else. It was so lovely and silly and the epitome of what a seven-year-old would consider a secret I simply can’t reveal it to you.

I did get Eli out on the kayak one time, where he told me the secrets of this funny Youtube video he saw one time.

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