Brecken quickly jumps onto the dining room table, but takes his shoes off first, because his Daddy will get upset if he doesn’t. Kyson copies his brother and climbs over me to get onto the table as quickly as possible. He looks around furtively under the table – possibly for sharks. He is hanging on tight to his toes as he sits cross-legged in the middle of the wooden platform of our pirate ship/table. I hand him a black plastic eye patch and a pirate hat made from newspaper. “Put these on Kyson, you’re a pirate now!” He grins as he dons the hat and struggles to attach the eye patch that keeps slipping down around his neck.
With a plastic sword and eye patch in place, 6-year-old Brecken stands on the bow of the table ship with his legs spread wide and a cardboard paper towel tube held against one eye: “I spy an English Frigate out of Jamaica, bound for Gibraltar. She be loaded with brown sugar and cinnamon, Grandma. Should we take her now or follow her around the Horn?”
I am so impressed with this solid performance that my heart flutters. He’s a natural born “imaginator”, I whisper to myself.
The telephone is ringing and I open my eyes. I’m laying on the sofa in Phoenix. I pick up the receiver – it’s a friend from the past. We talk a few minutes and promise to keep in touch. I try to get back to the Pirate ship, but it is lost now. It must have gone down going around the Horn, I think.
My Grandsons live in Los Angeles. I know for a fact that there are no Pirate Ships in Santa Clarita except maybe at Magic Mountain. We shall all go there on my next visit I promise myself. But the truth is that they are growing up very fast, and I am slowing down quickly. They never come to visit me because their parents are too extremely over-scheduled already with more important events and outings than I could hope to compete with.
So I write stories and hope that some day, when my ship has gone down off the Horn – they will find time to read. Who knows, my great grandchildren might learn about pirates for the first time: “Hey Pop: Why are Great Grandma’s books so valuable? What is a pirate anyway?
“Come on, we’re late for the auction. I wonder how much we can get for these old books and manuscripts? Who would take the time to wade through this stuff? They’re even written in old style American. She didn’t even know how to text – how ancient is that?” their father says with frustration in his voice.
It’s THTH. I TX MBF: OMG, U wd Nt blv ths. M Gr Grnchld CN rd Eng! GMWS! (It's too hard to handle: Oh My God, you would not believe this. My great grandchild cannot read English! Gag me with a spoon!)