I just woke up from a nap which stretched for about an hour; this ensures I will have difficulty falling asleep tonight. I think the nap was warranted, though, as we spent a few hours at the American Box Car Racing International track in Kunia. Also, following the Steelers/Cowboys game wiped me out emotionally. It was a 3G-speed roller coaster that didn’t end until until I got the final notification informing me of Dan Bailey’s field goal in overtime to seal it. It’s weird to have one of my teams on a streak where they figure out ways to win instead of finding ways to lose.
We were invited to Ayden’s fifth birthday party. Ayden is one of Lynnette’s best and oldest friend’s sons. They always throw these simple yet undeniably fun birthday parties for their children. The three of us had no prior box car experience so we were excited. Lynnette misread the instructions for racing and thought that everyone who intended to race had to wear long pants which covered their ankles. In truth, only drivers under 18 had to. Adults could wear shorts if they chose. While this bummed me out at first because it was muggy and sunny, I later thought that it might be a good idea. If you’ve kept up with this blog for a while, then you know that one of my indirect hobbies is scraping skin sells off my body with various unforgiving surfaces. While I didn’t get in to an accident today, I am almost positive that had I opted for shorts, I would have ended up getting embroiled in some kind of situation which would have left me with a bruised ego and one or more knees skinned.
Madison was too young to drive on her own so Lynnette and I took turns packing her (I love using terminology from my childhood whenever I can) in our laps. Madison loved it. Do you know how we know? She yelled and screamed the entire time, every time. There were “woo-hoo!”s and “go-go-go!”s and “we’re gonna win!”s, but oddly enough, no “chee huu!”s. Every time we came to a stop at the finish line, Madison immediately yelled “I wanna go again!” I’m sure that was because it was fun. But mostly because she didn’t have to carry the cars.
Don’t get me wrong, it was as if the cars were heavy or the distance far, it’s just that I have not inured myself to physical labor. In jeans. In 80 degree weather. After a run, one was expected to park their car, then move to a seating area to wait one’s turn again. When there were a bunch of people racing, it meant something like a 4 or five minute wait until we were allowed to pick out a car, move it to the waiting area, then push it up the start hill. We went a bunch of times and had to drag Madison away from it for lunch. The only part of my day which I would describe as less than stellar would be each time I had to run the car back up the hill with my glasses fogged up from the heat as sweat rolled down my face. Adding to the experience was Madison’s crowing about what lane she wanted to start from, which car she wanted to ride in, and the slow pace of my movement. She’s not a great motivator. Then again, the only reason I continued to do this over and over was for her enjoyment, so maybe she is. It was fun regardless. Thanks again, Ralph and Allicia!
The racing is mostly gravity, then momentum, but Madison didn’t care. She was instructed to sit cross-legged between Lynnette’s legs or my legs and drape her arms over our thighs. As you can see in the first picture, she followed directions for most of the day. But when we told her that we’d be taking our last run (the second picture), she couldn’t help herself. As soon as she and I took off on the last run, she grabbed the steering wheel and said “I’m going to help you, dad!” My first instinct was to tell at her (This is always my first instinct when I am disobeyed. I have put considerable effort into being able to stop myself, but that’s another tale for another day). Her hands grasped the wheel tightly. She steered correctly for the most part, but there were a few turns during which she simply panicked and alternated between turning the wheel left and right. “Oh no!” I shouted. “We’re gonna crash!” she screamed. “You gotta turn!” I shouted back. “What do we do?!” she yelled. I could easily overpower her with the steering wheel, but everyone once in a while on a straightaway, I eased up my grip so she could feel the car move under her direction.
No, it wasn’t quite Days of Thunder, but Madison loved every second of it. That’ll do.