Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Painter

“Hello!” the painter calls cheerfully.

Pippin hides his head in my shoulder, peeping out as I walk closer and say hello back.

The painter dusts the blue doorway lightly with a clean brush. Then he offers the brush to Pippin. “For you?”

“Do you want to help paint?” I tease my little boy.

This painter's brown eyes sparkle at us. I’d guess he’s in his early 20’s, maybe from Morocco. 

Even just doing errands in our neighborhood, on a weekday morning, it's hard to miss the diversity in Rotterdam. The painter a few streets further is a middle-aged Dutch man; our postwoman is white with blonde dreads. The new neighbor on the corner is an elderly Oriental gentleman with a forked white beard; when I see him I get the urge to ask for some sage advice or a prophecy. 

Pippin has relaxed enough to stare openly at the painter. “Mother, son, alike!” he says, pointing to each of us in turn. “Blue eyes! When he is big – ah! Cassanova! He will get all the meisjes!” He grins at me as if he’s enjoying the prospect of my big-eyed toddler turning into a hit with the girls.

I just laugh, and he returns to his work. We wave as we head on our way, and wish him good luck with painting. “Succes!” “Dank je!

I’m sure Faramir will be thrilled when I tell him that Pippin has received a Cassanova prediction. (Almost as excited as when Pippin got told last year that he would be a ‘lady-killer’ some day.)

We may need to have a word with our one-year-old about this issue.

Maybe it’s the sexy bear ears on his jacket.