Our World: Six across

Naples resident David Merveilleaux, left, walks with his wife and four children (6-year-old David, Jr., 4-year-old David Clint, wife Andremene, 8-year-old Noelle and 14-year-old Fritza, left to right) around the track July 21 as part of a new summer exercise ritual for the family. David Albers/Staff

Photo by DAVID ALBERS // Buy this photo

Naples resident David Merveilleaux, left, walks with his wife and four children (6-year-old David, Jr., 4-year-old David Clint, wife Andremene, 8-year-old Noelle and 14-year-old Fritza, left to right) around the track July 21 as part of a new summer exercise ritual for the family. David Albers/Staff

Naples resident David Merveilleaux, left, walks with his wife and four children (6-year-old David, Jr., 4-year-old David Clint, wife Andremene, 8-year-old Noelle and 14-year-old Fritza, left to right) around the track July 21 as part of a new summer exercise ritual for the family. David Albers/Staff

Photo by DAVID ALBERS // Buy this photo

Naples resident David Merveilleaux, left, walks with his wife and four children (6-year-old David, Jr., 4-year-old David Clint, wife Andremene, 8-year-old Noelle and 14-year-old Fritza, left to right) around the track July 21 as part of a new summer exercise ritual for the family. David Albers/Staff

When was the last time you saw a family of six walking together hand-in-hand?

It seems simple enough, but in today’s world of kids with cell phones and busy schedules, it is a striking image.

Naples resident David Merveilleaux, 39, recently began a weekday morning ritual when his children got out of school for summer break. With his wife, Andremene Merveilleaux, they’ve continued dragging their kids out of bed on weekdays. Instead of sending them to school, the family is doing laps around the track at East Naples Middle School.

Last Thursday, the morning sunlight filtered through the trees onto the family of six as they circled the six lanes of the track.

“We are trying to have balance. We are trying to take the benefits of the exercise,” said David in a thick Haitian accent.

David and Andremene were both born in the southern peninsula of Haiti and immigrated to the U.S. where their children have been born.

Fritza, 14, Noelle, 8, David Jr., 6, and David Clint, 4, are the children who hold hands with David and Andremene as they walk the track.

“Three boys. Three girls. That makes six,” David Jr. explains about his family.

But while they are enjoying their summer vacation, the children are quick to share stories from school. David Jr. is eager to share that he goes to Mike Davis Elementary, an A school.

David Sr. said he is supporting his family with a part-time job at a national pizza chain as he searches for a job with his degree in small business management.

“We’ve lost weight. We feel lighter during the day. I’ve already lost five pounds,” David Sr. boasts.

The family has averaged six or seven laps each day but it is obviously not all about health.

As the family heads down the last stretch Thursday, the youngest two boys, David Clint and David Jr., tear off in a race to the finish, giggling as they leave the track.

- - -

Connect with David Albers at www.naplesnews.com/staff/david-albers.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features