Thursday has been the best day of my Spring Break and it’s pretty obvious why. Instead of trying to carry conversations with Abby all day, I kept Madison home from school in hopes of heading down to Ko’olina for some beach. We woke to an overcast sky and it never broke. Best laid plans and all that.
The sun broke free of the clouds for about three minutes when we arrived, prompting the two of us to shout “Yay, sun!” It didn’t last. We placed our things down and the first activity on Madison’s itinerary was shell collecting. As you probably know, we’re trying to spice up our guest bathroom with a beach theme. Madison wanted to contribute by collecting small shells. “You can put those in a little glass jar, I said. “Yeah, yeah,” she said. “I think mom will love it!” After ten minutes, Madison lifted her head and said, “We can look for more shells later,” she said. Translated for those who don’t speak Madison: I’m bored.
“I want to do it myself!” Mad shouted as she grabbed her flotation ring. She ran into the water and froze when she got knee-deep. “Is it cold?” I asked. She turned around and nodded. It wasn’t cold enough, apparently, as she jumped in anyway. I got about knee-deep as well before my testicles scrambled into my stomach for warmth. “I don’t know if I can do this,” I said. “You’re a big boy, dad, you can do it,” Madison said. She was already kicking her way out to sea. I went waist deep and my mouth did that autonomic thing where it grinds my teeth for me. This is also what my body does when I see a pothole too late and won’t be able to avoid it. I finally plunged in. It was cold. I suppose I should at least thank the weather gods for not raining us out.
“I want you to bury me again and make me a mermaid,” Madison said. I took up the bucket and began scooping up sand at a stiff-neck pace. In a few moments, Madison popped into the little ditch and I covered her with sand. I made the mermaid tail again, and I guess you can kind of see it. The problem is mostly that she doesn’t sit still long enough for me to do anything more than a quick once-over. I try to nail the shape, but then she gets so excited to draw in the scales herself that she wrecks the upper portion. Twice today, she got too excited and her chubby toes broke the surface of the sand. You can see a little hole to the left of the tail. That’s her foot.
I don’t know if it’s The Little Mermaid or Barbie Mermaid, but after I snapped a few shots of my mermaid princess, Madison whispered “I wish to be human.” Before I could say anything or ask her a question, she emerged from the sand with human legs. I laughed. “What?” she said. “Nothing, that was awesome, Goob,” I said. We jumped into the water to get the sand off of us. Mad lasted a mere five more minutes before turning to me and saying “D-d-d-d-dad… I’m c-c-c-c-c-cold.” And that was that.
We pulled into Kapolei for lunch. As is our ritual, Madison gets a fruit bowl from Aloha Salads, and I get something with ahi in it. Mad’s got a system. She figured out early on that the strawberry and lychee were her favorites, so she started with the bananas first. She ate them all before moving on to the grapes. That’s when she slowed down and started to savor each bite of her bowl. It should be noted that I extracted the green apples because, according to Madison, “They’re getting in the way.” So I ate them.
After lunch, we walked to Target. “What can I eat for my dessert?” Madison asked. Madison’s belief that dessert follows every meal is not a result of anything I did. This is another of Lynnette’s inherited traits. I told her that she could choose any one thing in the store. We passed through the food section of the store and Mad was like a countdown machine: “That’s the cereal. Nope, that’s the baking line. That’s drinks, not candy.” When we finally arrived at the candy aisle, she shouted “We did it!” Like it was ever in doubt. She looked around for a few seconds before picking out a bag of Gummy Cola. This is my favorite snack. “I want to share this with you,” she said. You have no idea how happy this makes me. And not just because I love Gummy Cola. When I opened the bag up, I handed her one. I held on up to her. “Cheers,” I said. She tapped my candy with hers. “Cheers!” she shouted. We still have about half the bag left. We’ll take care of that tonight, I am sure.