First of all, I would like to send an anti-shout out to Apple Maps. I entered “Kroc Center Hawaii” into the app and was given directions to an industrial area nowhere near the actual Kroc Center. That ought to teach me to rely so heavily on technology. Mary Shelley’s corpse and the Unabomber are smiling.
Lynnette, our fearless activities coordinator, discovered a Christmas event at the Kroc Center from 6-9 PM. Membership at the Kroc Center wasn’t required. We could tell the event would be crowded when we rolled into the parking lot and most of the stalls were full. When we actually entered the event, the first things I saw were lines. There were people standing in line all over the place. It’s one of those, I thought to myself. Madison spotted the fishing pond first. That’s where I posted myself. In the meantime, she and Lynnette wandered off and returned with a water bottle. You can’t fake this kind of enthusiasm.
I estimate that I stood in the fishing pond line for 15 minutes or so. I didn’t mind; I was wearing comfortable shoes and had a fully charged phone. When Madison finally made it to the front of the line, she was asked how old she was. “FOUR YEAR OLD GIRL!” the man running the game shouted. A few moments later, Madison pulled on the pole and “caught” a toy which would probably have cost something like $8-$12 at Walmart or Target. She was stoked. When we got home last night, she played with the toy – plastic animal figurines selling lemonade – for a while. She named the two animals. Pigeon Glow is a bird. Juicy-Juice is a rabbit, and also a violation of copyright laws. I love whenever Madison comes up with names for things herself. Once, she made up the name of her own fictional restaurant: Barbeque and a Slice. I don’t even know what that means, it just sounds cool.
Sadly, a few of the crafts were unavailable by the time we got to the Kroc Center. The gingerbread house making was one of the activities that Madison missed out on. According to Lynnette, by the time she located the room where the house construction was held, they had run out of crackers, and there was candy all over the room.
Never one to let bad luck get her down, Madison made the most of her night by decorating a few paper ornaments with glitter. Perhaps predictably, a whole bunch of glitter ended up in Mad’s hair. She was so thrilled to show it to me, too. I thought it was a spray or something at first, but no. Just your average, run-of-the-mill glitter combined with the hand-eye coordination of a four-year old.
Unlike most of the events like these we attend, I spent the most time standing in a line for myself rather than Madison. The health staff at the Kroc Center gave out free massages. After waiting in the fishing pond line, I signed up for the massage and waited for twenty minutes before hearing my name called. “How do you like your pressure?” my masseuse asked. “Hard.” I said. “Okay,” she said. “Let me know if it’s too hard,” she said. “Mmmm,” I grunted because I had already buried my face in the face cushion thing.
Lynnette took this shot without my knowledge. If I had known she was going to snap a picture, I would have sucked my back and ass in. Alas. I don’t even care. For ten glorious minutes, my eyes were rolled into the back of my head as someone massaged my shoulders without complaining about it. If I ever somehow become obscenely wealthy, the first thing I do is pay off my debts. The second thing I do is buy new car. Immediately after that, I hire a live-in masseuse. Dead serious.
If you ask Madison, she’ll probably tell you that she enjoyed the rolling in the grass the most. Instead of plain grassy areas between walkways, those medians rose and fell like miniature rolling hills. Madison ran up and down the slopes, rolled down to the concrete, and flipped head-over-heels (I taught her how to do that).
There’s something about watching her run around at full speed that amazes me. She moves quickly, she can cut and change direction fluidly. She’s slightly athletic in a way that gives me hope about a possible youth sports career for her. Every once a while, I’d lose track of her, then struggle to find her again in the dimly lit area amongst a bunch of other children. I told Lynnette that I think I had trouble finding her was because I was looking for a shorter, generally smaller child. She’s so long and quick and smart-mouthed. Crazy.