We’re a little over 24 hours out from our first family vacation. We’ve spent the summer prior to this, though, by partying.
One of Lynnette’ co-worker’s daughter graduated from high school and her graduation party was last night at the Willows restaurant. Madison was intrigued by the idea because she could not recall ever being at the Willows and these kinds of new experiences always appeal to her curiosity – at least initially. She’s like a dog given a new park full of smells and sights; she just loves exploring.
Well, I was pleased to see a Bambooth set up in the corner of the dining hall. Lynnette, Madison and I quickly jumped into the booth and took a series of ridiculous pictures. I then besieged Instagram with pictures similar to the one on the left. I apologize if it was a bit much. Madison was pleased with the copious amounts of candy to be had. There were snacks left on the table and a fully-stocked candy bar. As Lynnette and I have discovered long ago, if you replace the carrot in front of Madison with candy, she moves much more quickly and much more efficiently. She blew through her dinner on the promise of Candy Nirvana awaiting her.
Whenever I eat dinner at events like weddings, grad parties, baccalaureate luncheons, etc., I only put the things on my plate that I know I’ll eat. Anything else might go to waste or simply take up space in my stomach. I mean, really, I used to avoid veggies because I didn’t care for the way they tasted. As an adult, I still don’t care for the way they taste, but eating them would also mean less space in my stomach for meat. Look, we’re talking about a finite space as far as consumption is concerned. I can’t be spending precious stomach area on things I don’t enjoy. Anyway, I love watching Madison go through the same process while picking her snacks. She’s a purist, too. She eschews a lot of candy for more of the ones she really likes. At a candy bar situation, this is fine, but she’s kind of terrible at the-end-of-pinata-festivities at birthday parties.
We went to a first birthday party early today. Bryce is a big boy who can high-five, clap, and will undoubtedly be subjected to baseball drills as soon as he’s physically capable and possibly a bit sooner. His parents Kev and Bri are friends from Little League days, and that was the highlight of the party for me: seeing all those old faces which used to be partially obscured by the bills of baseball caps.
We got to the party a little late because of a softball game. When we arrived, the sat at a table with my parents and two other couples – both former coaches and their wives. A friend sitting on another table said “That’s where you’re sitting?” I laughed. “Yeah, I guess I’m too old for the kids’ table, already,” I said. Aside from the catching up and briefly reminiscing about spending entire Saturdays at Aiea Rec/Annex, the most jarrring thing was seeing that the “kids” – the people who were kids when I was playing seniors – are all apparently old enough to drink. Holy shit, did that make me feel old.
Madison loved the games, but more so the candy prizes given out. Let’s put it this way, if all of a sudden there’s a candy shortage on Oahu, we won’t feel it. Not even a little. As we sat in the dining hall, Madison spied an airplane coming in for landing. “Look, dad!” she said, smiling broadly. “That’s going to be us tomorrow,” I said. “I know,” she whispered.
I’ve learned through personal experience that if I get too excited about something, I become unproductive. My mind cannot hold a thought. I cannot focus on what must be done. Over time, I’ve learned to counter this problem by denying myself things. For example, as the school year wound down and we moved into finals week, I would not allow myself to think of summer, only of the grading that still needed to be done. My problem is that if I overlook what must be done, it becomes impossible for me to sit down and do it. So as far as this trip is concerned, we’re going to LMU. I’m going to eat In-N-Out. I’m going to try to convince Lynnette to let me drive to the Madrid. We’re going to watch an MLB game. We’re going to get off the island for the first time since 2006. But I can’t think about that, otherwise I go insane. So I haven’t been thinking about that, only what a pain in the ass packing and traveling is going to be. Then, when the lady’s voice comes on over the PA in the plane, maybe I’ll let myself enjoy it.
I’ll try my best to keep writing from California.