So yesterday my son was finishing a book report on The Cay. I hadn’t read the book. Along with the key elements of overcoming racism, war and injury, he mentioned that it was set around an island in the Caribbean. I said “You know I used to live in the Caribbean, right?”
“Yes”, he answered, with that tone that children get when they know it would inappropriate to tell you that you’ve told them that story before. At least this time I recognized it.
He told me the book was set around the island of Curacao. I asked, hesitatingly in case I had told him this before, “Did you know that I’ve been there?”
Apparently I hadn’t told him before, which was evident by the surprised and excited look he got when he said “Oh, no, you didn’t. Wow, that’s cool, when were you there?”
We shared a mother-son moment as I recounted a cruise we had taken as a family when I was about 8 years old and stopped in some pretty neat places throughout the Caribbean and South America. He was interested, and listened. And then he asked me what it was like.
There are exactly three things I remember about Curacao. I remember overlooking the town and seeing how charming it was. I remember it being Dutch. But most importantly, and the part that made me smile, was that they used diesel fuel mostly there, which I knew because it smelled like airports. I love airports. I love the smell of jet fuel.
My son looked at me with that sideways smirk look. “Really?” He said. “THAT’S what you remember about Curacao?”
Sheepishly I answered, “Uh, yeah.”
We shared another mother-son moment, this one more in line with who we really are, and his realization that yes, this is in fact the gene pool he is a part of.