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This afternoon my sister and I cajoled a wilted little boy to play with metal bowls of water in the yard, during which time he turned a fully flowing hose on the two of us not just a few times, and while I was able to get out of the way in time, my sister’s laughter tripped her up, and she ended up changing her clothes before the excellent suburban stripmall Indian dinner and which bhindi masala and dal tarka and sag paneer and naan and pappardum and tamarind sauce and mango chutney and a whole bunch more food was eaten. Apparently there was also rhogan josh (lamb) and tandoori chicken, but I was on the veggie side of the table and hardly noticed, though I did taste the rose lassi and wonder how my overperfumed bathwater had made it into the kitchen.

But before we were able to defrock the boy and refrock him, he looked up with a giant smile and said to us, upon hearing the jingle jangle music down the hill, “Hakim’s truck!”
Later at dinner, at desert time, he proclaimed, “Hakim’s coming!”

Of course, this is not really what he said. This is my nephew’s version (and my spelling) of the word ice cream, which of course he was excited to hear and know about and announce. Icecream, kulfi, helado, gelato, however you say it, is delicious. And its very existence makes my nephew wriggle.

Just think about it for a minute. I mean Hakim. What if you we all had a person in our lives that no matter when they arrived, or how they got there, we were happy for them to enter. If their specific ringtone on your phone made you smile, and their very footfall made you jump up and down in your booster seat?

What I’m saying here is that you can never have enough Hakim in your life. Or 2.3-year old nephews that speak in earnest little four word blips that are so easily open to misunderstanding. And great hilarity.

And here’s the postscript where I tell you that if you are in any of the following airports during the day tomorrow, you are more than welcome to buy me a cup of coffee: JFK, San Salvador, Lima, Santiago. And also, yes, I’m cheap, and that’s why I’m stopping so very many times before getting home. That way I can afford more Hakim. Or more trips to see the family, tiny monoglots notwithstanding.