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EIGHT
Joe herded Brian back up the access road to Paseo de la Marina, returning the wave of the FEMSA delivery driver who laughed as he waved and waited to turn right.

 “Buenos dias,” the delivery driver declared, still waving and laughing at Joe’s silly waddle. “¡Te ves muy ocupado!” he added after the pair had passed.

“And good morning to you!” Joe hollered back with a reciprocating wave before gently tapping Brian’s right shoulder to herd him left as they reached the marina avenue.

Dog trotting very slowly and with exaggerated movements to keep pace with his son as they raced toward the hotel they reached the northward sweeping curve where Avenue Paseo de la Marina transitioned to Calle Albatros; here Joe breathlessly declared, “Oh, you win, Brian. I’m out of breath! Let’s wait here for Mama, okay?”

 “I win?” Brian asked his father, his face beaming with delight. “Yay, I win! I wait with Pabbi,” he added, patting his father’s hand.

Joe smiled at Brian, did a slow, anti-clockwise, 540 degree circle of his surroundings, taking in the brightly lit luxurious accommodations ahead and to his left as well as the peeling, white-painted brick wall that stood to the north beyond the tiny, triangular, ornamental garden that lay at the intersection before stopping his rotation as his eyes fell upon his wife’s approaching form. “Here comes Mama,” he said to Brian. “Should we give her some flowers?” he asked, pointing to the knee high boarder of pink flowers that ran between the avenue and the sidewalk for the two-hundred yards from the access road that led to the Pacific.

“I give Mama flowers!” Brian answered as he and Joe plucked a few of the abundant pink blossoms.

The still struggling to rise sun cast Elizabeth in a lovely pink glow as its rays softly and indirectly illuminated from her rear and right. Joe genuflected, resting on his right knee as he brought his head close to his son’s and watched his wife slowly saunter northwestward toward her husband and child. “You know, Brian, we are very, very lucky men. Your Mama is beautiful in all ways,” he declared, his voice filled with awe and reverence.

“I give Mama flowers?”

“Yes! We give Mama flowers now,” Joe confirmed, standing, plucking Brian from the ground, holding him in his left arm, running to his wife whom he grabbed with his right and spun in a half-circle before hugging them both close and declaring, “Brian has a gift for you!”

“You do?!” Beth exclaimed. “For me! What is it?”

“I have flowers!” he declared, wiggling his arms free from beneath Joe’s grasp and holding his small bouquet of flores rosadas out to his mother.

“Oh, my!” Beth said, bending down, pushing her nose into the small bundle, inhaling, declaring, “Heavenly!” before pushing her nose into Brian’s belly, twitching her head back and forth to tickle her son and repeating her exclamation. “Thank you both for my flowers.”

“You are infinitely welcome,” Joe said, kissing her as their son giggled. “I think I will pluck a few as we go and create a beautiful pink, floral crown for you to wear.”

 “I get flowers to wear?” Brian asked.

“But of course,” Joe said, bowing slightly at the waist. “In fact, I will harvest enough for the three of us,” he added, placing his son on the ground. “You two go ahead,” he added. “Leticia is guarding our luggage. Why don’t you go up to the room and get ready for breakfast and I will be up as soon as I have gathered flores para la bella.”

“¡Te amo mucho, mi alma!” Beth said, her face beaming. “Come, little one,” she added, taking Brian from her husband’s arms, placing him on the ground and taking his hand. “Tengo hambre.”