Lessons in the sand

Since Mercy has decided that after a month of living at Newman Lake, Tillamook and Grammy and Pop Pop’s backyard, our little apartment is terribly boring, we spent most of yesterday afternoon at our local park. Doug and I always joke about what it’s like to let our kids play at this park, especially in the sand:

“Oh, look! Mercy found a condom!”

“Hey, Aaron, can you hand me that hypodermic needle, please?”

But of course, the sand is the thing Mercy is most excited about, so there we sat.

I had brought a few tupperware containers and a shovel, and Mercy busied herself “cooking” and bringing me sand delicacies to eat. At one point I realized that she had abandoned the bulky yellow shovel I brought for her in favor of a beer bottle top to scoop the sand into her plastic cups. I couldn’t help but remember how, a few short weeks ago, she was running wild at the beach at Oceanside, scooping up sand into plastic cups with a broken sand dollar and partial mussel shell.

The other night I was sitting with Doug on the dock at Newman Lake and I turned to him and said: “When I am here, it is hard to believe that this place and South Central, L.A. share space in the same world.” I guess I get how people forget that places like my neighborhood exist. I was gone for twenty-five days. I have to admit that it is not that hard. I am reminded of Doughboy’s sober conclusion in the 1991 movie, Boyz N the hood :

“Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.”

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