We landed in El Salvador and my local buddy Ricardo met us at the airport. I have known him for years now and he is an awesome guy. The combo of his English (mainly) and my Spanish allows us to communicate very well. This was the kid’s first trip to the country, and they were super excited. Ricardo has a boy and girl who are 4 years apart like Lennox and Junebug, so he knew what he was in for driving around with kids. Junebug and Lennox were chatterboxes as always and were having a blast pointing things out and asking how to say phrases or words in Spanish.
Suddenly, Lennox hit us with the second most common phrase from a toddler outside of “I need a snack!”. He had to pee and of course it was an emergency. Ricardo looked at Lianne, unsure how she would respond before saying, “In El Salvador we usually just go on the side of the road if it’s okay.” That’s perfect we told him. As soon as we pulled over and got out of the car, Lennox whipped it out and let the pee fly without hesitation. Ricardo smiled and said, “I guess he is already prepared for El Salvador!”
We loaded Lennox back into the car so we could continue the journey. Lennox said, “Thanks for stopping for me to go to potty, Re-TARD-Oh.” Ricardo chuckled and said, “Lennox my name is Ricardo”. Lennox looked at him quizzically and responded…”I know Re-TARD-Oh!!” Ricardo laughed this time before getting back on the road to El Zonte.
Over the next few weeks, we saw Ricardo multiple times and Lennox never failed to call him Re-TARD-Oh. Several days before the end of the trip, we realized that Ricardo’s birthday was the day before Lennox’s. On the day of Lennox’s birthday, I got a text from Ricardo…”Tell Lennox, Retardo send him a big happy birthday and wishing him have a really good day.” I read the text to Lennox, and he contemplated for a moment with an increasing smile before saying, “Daddy, I very much like Re-TARD-Oh”. I grinned back and told him, “I do too buddy!”