At the pool today, I was able to be a fly on the tile and listened to two boys playing. I’m guessing their ages were about 10, and one was obviously a guest of the other. The one was fair and strawberry blond and exited the pool by rolling out. The guest boy was more nimble and tan with his hair shaved in some sort of combination Mohawk and mullet. Their dialect told me that they were most definitely from around here. They decided that they wanted to have a “jumpin’-in” contest but needed a judge. The blond boy asked his mom who was splitting the vinyl slats of a pool chair a few down from me. Her scratchy voice forced interest in their game out of politeness for the guest. How do I know? I’m not sure. Though she spoke in a pleasant tone, it was like the words were old caramel candy stuck in her tobacco-tainted teeth. She really had to dig and work her jaws to get the words out. And, then, when she gave every jump a “10”, I really questioned her sincerity of interest, or maybe she was just a really bad “jumpin’-in” judge. And, don’t get me wrong, it is doubtful I would participate with my kids at all. It would depend on if I was on a front or back sun rotation, similar to the probable response of the guest boy’s mom. He was so impressed that his friend’s mom said yes. He said “ah, man, my mom just says ‘Shut-up, I’m sunin’. She won’t do nutin’.” They began their spontaneous jumps, each arguing that the other must have points deducted for this or that. But, always to no avail, a “10” would be awarded. Before each entry, they would announce the name of their jump. The one would say “This is the stick-my-leg-out-and-hold-my-arms-up jump,” then proceed. The guest boy would stand and in a wrestling entertainment voice say, “This is the Cowboy Dance of Death Jump”, and then he would stand with his back to the pool, jerk his body around like he was being peppered with bullets and fall in. The first boy would come again and announce his jump as “this is the jump-and-twist-while-holding-my-nose jump.” Guest boy would come to the edge and say in his mega voice “this is the Armpit Destruction of Death Jump”. No matter the jump, his entries were always something “of Death Jump”. Still he and his opponent - so obviously the lesser of a “jumpin-in” competitor - would tie in points. The judge was biased, no doubt, but still she was participating. One afternoon I was hurrying the kids to get out to the beach. Once out there, I put up my chair, snapped a bunch of pictures, dug part of Eli’s canal, then I sat down. Hg came to our squat to retrieve something for their beach project and she said “How come you want to get out here so bad then all you do is sit.” She is such a treasure (sigh). Eli has had a good day. No changes in our concerns which continue to be about the eating, but he has been in a really good mood. I watch his emotions, his energy, and his body for any changes at all. He has a small soft lump above the shunt which I want to watch closely. I mention it here, mostly to document it. But, we had another beautiful day at the beach and pool. We expect the clouds to roll in about the time we are supposed to be taking family pictures. The picture I’m including today is of Eli and his “catch”. He bought this toy shark earlier and it got so many looks by passers-by as he played with it. One man even took a picture of it.