Monday, January 14, 2008

January 14, 2008 – Growing up Tico

Sometimes when you get together with other gringos in Costa Rica, you exchange war stories; these are usually about how someone got ripped off, taken advantage of, or just felt *way* out of place. But when we thought about it, we decided that the number of ¨bad¨ experiences was far outweighed by the good ones. Even those that, on the surface, seem sorta bad, then maybe not quite good end up leaving me with a ¨familiar¨ feeling.

The other day, a bunch of neighborhood kids were playing soccer in the courtyard of our apartment building. We were home all day, and enjoyed hearing the sounds of fun. Later that evening, I headed out for groceries, and found a note in our door. Well, it was not a nice note – it was one of those things that bored kids play around with, letting their imaginations run wild. It was obviously written by a kid. So, Rick took it over to our neighbor (they had previously said to let them know if they could help in any way). Rick showed him the note, explained how we thought it was a kid, and asked the neighbor if he would mention to the kids in the street that, while it was a joke, it was not a nice thing. The man nodded, and we figured that would be the end of it. Not so! About a half hour later, knock, knock… There is a kid (about 7) at our door, looking pretty embarrassed, and behind him is his father (as it turned out, it was the neighbor we had talked to) – arms crossed, looking stern. The father prompted his son – well? Then the boy said that he was sorry. The father said ¨speak up¨ and tell him why you´re sorry.¨ (Wow! Major flashbacks…) The son spelled it out, and then Rick said (very formally) that he accepted his apology. And they shook hands.

So, while this could have left a bad taste in our mouths, it ended up making us feel like the Ticos grow up a lot like we do – we make mistakes, and good parents make us own up to them…


Don said...

Great story!

JulieAndRickInCostaRica said...

It felt pretty good after a while - felt like we were now a small part of the boy becoming a man