While I had no intention of having to display any athleticism, Lynnette and I thought that Madison might enjoy participating in a few athletic activities. We headed to the Blaisdell for the free (except for the parking, of course) ESPN Sports Festival. The draw from my point of view was the Action Zone Wrestling match at 12:15. After a long week at work, Lynnette just wanted to get out of the house. I would like to take this time before continuing with the details of our day to pat myself on my back for finishing the laundry yesterday. Thanks. You’re all too kind.
The first thing Madison did at the Festival was watch a cheerleading demo. She sat cross-legged on the floor about three feet away from the mat. They didn’t cheer, really, they just did dance routines that made me hear “Prepare for total domination!” in my head. Then a few of the girls started back-flipping. Then they brought out the older girls who started running and jumping and spinning in the air. I couldn’t see Mad’s face, but I already knew. When she came back, she was so excited she was speaking in tongues. Something about girls flying and almost hitting her. If she becomes a dancer or cheerleader, I will look back on this day with great sadness.
Madison next hit up the mini-golf holes set up on the floor of the exhibition hall. I don’t think she enjoyed them as much as Jungle River because she had a hell of a time deciding how and where to position her feet as some of her shots allowed her to stand on the green while others required her to stand off to the side. Still others called for one foot on and one foot off. It was a puzzling experience for her, but she still managed to complete the 9-hole sample course with a score just under triple digits.
Mom waited in line for the rock climbing while Mad and I explored the tennis drills. She went through all five stations, succeeding at some more than others. She did a great job balancing the ball on the racket. She also was very good at catching bean bags with the racket. She made my day, however, trying to volley the ball back over the net. We lined up opposite a male volunteer. I want to say he was in high school, but he looked really young. Anyway, he bounced a foam ball over the net and Madison whiffed. “No, let it bounce once, then hit it,” I told her. The volunteer tossed a ball again. Madison patiently let the ball bounce (I would have been good-to-great money on it that she didn’t have the discipline in her to wait for the bounce) then took a ferocious hack while screaming “Rahhh!” The boy’s eyes widened. He didn’t laugh. He just looked mystified/puzzled. But I wasn’t. She’s still getting under the ball. We might have to go with a lighter bat -ah, I mean racket.
Madison was super-excited to climb the faux rock wall. Once she got on, she couldn’t really move, so one of the assistants gave her a boost one level up. That’s when she started moving. She lifted her legs, pushed off, pulled, and made it a full body length higher. She paused. She looked down for the next rock and that’s when I think she realized she was about twelve feet off of the ground.
Lynnette and I offered encouragement and instruction from the ground below. Madison didn’t seem to hear any of it. She just looked at us blankly. “Do you want to come down now?” I asked. She nodded, but only very slightly. It was as if she felt any sudden movement would knock her off the wall and begin a quick descent to the world below.
As I wrote elsewhere, a few days ago, she asked me why I don’t care for rides like roller coasters or the Tower of Terror. I told her that I am afraid of heights. I tried to explain it to her, but she told me she didn’t understand what I mean. She probably does now.
Like I said, going in, the Action Zone Wrestling event was the real draw for me, but I have to say that the unexpected highlight of the day was bumping into so many people I rarely get the chance to see. I saw Arthur – a pop culture enthusiast like myself and AZW referee. We sat in the stands next to Celia – a fellow wordsmith and the former Damien Newspaper advisior – and Sean – an old friend who played baseball for my father ages ago. We also ran into the best baseball hitter I’ve ever played with, Mike Kim, who recognized Madison first, then looked up at Lynnette and I.
“Is Fandango going to be there?” Madison asked when I told her about the AZW mini-show. “No,” I said. “It’s not those guys.” She seemed a little bummed, but understandably so. Fandango is her favorite WWE superstar because of the dancing and the glitter and the “Fahn-dahn-go!” When the show got going, Madison’s interest perked up quickly. I think she was amazed by how close she was to the action. She cheered every time someone took a big bump and the ring shook and sounded with a bang. When the three wrestlers hit a power bomb/superplex, Madison let out her patented “OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” I caught a small smile on Lynnette’s face, too, and she can’t stand wrestling.
After the Blaisdell, the three of us went to Ward Warehouse for lunch, but mostly for another sale at Eden in Love. Eden in Love is Lynnette’ drug dealer. She wouldn’t drive me down the street to get a Number Three Large with a Coke (no pickles), but brave not just the H2, not just the H1, but the nation’s worst traffic for a taste of Eden in Love. Look, I’m not complaining. Not everyone finds their true love. I just… I just… I guess I just thought it would be me. (Cut to emotional instrumental over video montage of choice footage of Lynnette and I when we could run)
We ended up at Ala Moana to kill time before my parents would meet us for dinner. Madison was running on fumes at this point – she’s out of mall shape because she’d been cruising stroller at Disney Land. When we sat down in Shirokiya, she had her arms folded on the table and plopped her head down on them. “You tired?” I asked. She nodded in the affirmative. She never admits that! She was beat.
But then grandma showed up with a cellophane bag full of candy and someone perked up. She always does.
If you are so inclined, Gymboree Ala Moana (across from Williams Sonoma) is having a store-wide sale. Everything in the store is $12.99 or less. The pricing is simple: the price on the tag is the real price, unless it’s higher than $12.99, then it’s $12.99. My dad and I were able to talk about Major League Baseball and the NBA on a bench outside the store before Madison, Lynnette, and grandma exited. Two things: 1. We have Grandma and Grandpa to thank for Madison’s new school clothes. 2. We have Grandma and Mom to un-thank for buying my daughter her first pair of “heels.” Look, I don’t care if they’re not really heels. Madison can’t walk in slippers. You can tell from the picture. Her heel never comes down on the heel of the slipper. I want to coat these heeled slippers with Cookie Butter and feed them to Abby, but then Lynnette would be pissed at me for wasting Cookie Butter.