When we drove into the Auckland rugby field's parking lot for the nine-year-old's rugby game, the mom disclosed that delinquents gather there during the weekends. I saw five thirteen-year-old males drinking energy drinks and listening to music playing from a phone. "Be careful," she warned, "Just make sure none of our kids go near them." I smiled. In California, I would have seen thirteen-year-olds smoking cigarettes with condoms in their pockets. One might have had a gun.
During the game, I picked up the three-year-old by his feet and swung him in circles. He shrieked while pitching through the air. After I set him down, he begged to go again. The seven-year-old cried because she wanted a turn.
"You always do fun stuff for him," she shouted. "Never for me."
Instead of telling her that she weighs too much and my arms are too weak, I consented. I picked her up by her feet and completed two rotations. I then accidentally dropped her on her head.
I don't understand rugby. I don't know why, if you score a touchdown, it's called a try. Clearly the attempt was more than a try. After the game, when the nine-year-old asked if I was impressed by the conversion, I was confused. Three minutes later, I understood a conversion to be similar to a football field goal.
We walked towards the car, the three-year-old on my shoulders, the five-year-old holding my hand, and the nine-year-old detailing every tackle he made and interrogating my opinion on most of the plays. I play soccer. I know more about fencing than i do about rugby.
We approached the car to find the rear windshield's dirt layer transformed into a pornographic playground. Stick figures were doing sheep doggy-style. Open mouths projected moaning dialogue bubbles. "Fuck me this dirty," and "I like pussy this dirty," were scrawled into the dust next to pictures of penises.
The nine-year-old had stopped ranting about the game.
"What's pussy?" he asked.