I just got finished replacing a headlight bulb in my car. I believe I am entitled to a full stamp on my Man Card, thank you. Look, I’ll be the first guy to admit that I know nothing about cars and that my thinker hands have difficulty carrying out even the simplest tasks, but I have to say that the way Mazda decided to hold this particular bulb in place is flat-out ridiculous. The tips of my fingers hurt just like the way they would when you try playing the opening of “More than Words” on guitar after having not played the guitar in a while. Screw you guys, I know it’s not just me. Thank God for Google and YouTube for giving me hints, but more importantly the hope that it can be done by a normal human being without any mechanical training. It’s the the perfect end to the day, but that’s fine because the rest of the day was pretty darn cool.
Before we left Windward Mall yesterday, Jo and I made plans to hit up the beach today. Somehow, both of us found parking a very short distance from that spot in front of Concessions that isn’t rocky. You know, because if it’s two things I can’t stand together, it’s a long walk followed by walking on rocks. Just not cool.
As you know, we’ve been going to beaches on the west and north shores. When I told Madison we were going to Ala Moana, she said “The mall?” I don’t know why she always asks this. She’s been to Ala Moana Beach Park enough times to know about it, but I assume that it has something to do with the fact that we shop so much she has no choice to but to attribute “Ala Moana” with retail indulgence rather than the ocean. When I reminded her that there is a beach across the street from the mall, she responded with “So far!” It’s not, but it’s also something I’d say
It was just Jo today, with Julie and Miley in tow. We got there first and when Jo text messaged me that she had arrived, I asked if she needed help carrying things. “I think we got it,” she wrote back. A few moments later, I saw all three of them toting bags and coolers and toys. Something about it amused me. I think it was just the larger number of bodies than I am used to. I have no idea what it was like for my parents to raise Paul, Matty, and myself while in their 20s. We were pretty low-maintenance, but logistically, going to beach, planning trips, etc. couldn’t have been fun. But it was fun for the three of us.
Madison loved spending time with other kids. When Lynnette got home yesterday, Madison couldn’t wait to tell her about our Glow-Putt experience, but the thing she was most excited to talk about was her time with Julie and Miley. Before Mad went to bed last night, she told Lynnette that we had standing plans to meet them again. When we arrived at the beach this morning, I said to Mad. “I think only Aunty Jo is coming today, no Aunty Trish.” “But what about the kids?” she blurted quickly. “They’re coming,” I said. “Okay, okay,” Madison said.
Excuse the hyperbole, but it was like watching some kind of hypothetical universe where I could observe what life might have been like if Mad had siblings. The best thing, I think was watching how Madison shifted her behavior based on who she was interacting with at the time. When she was with Julie, she went along with Jules’ plans. When she was on the shore with Miley, she directed some of their play, including asking Miley to decorate her mermaid tail with shells and rocks. Miley obliged.
Madison and I spend so much time together. I am not bored of her, but she must be bored of me. It just stands to reason. People get bored of me eventually. I know and accept this. We stuck around for two hours today. That’s about double the time we usually spend at the beach, but I knew Madison didn’t want to leave. She doesn’t have a crew the way I had brothers and the way Lynnette and her sister had all their cousins. I didn’t manage a picture of it, but my favorite image of the day came as we were gathering our things to leave and I turned to find Mad and Miley sitting in the shallow water having what looked to be a pretty serious conversation (based on their facial expressions). I don’t know what it was about, but I bet Madison wishes she could have it more often.
My first official work function for the school year is on the 31st. Gross. Summer is rapidly fading. Lynnette and I will have to worry about trying to find people to watch Madison during the days when she doesn’t have school but both Lynnette and I work. But for now, I am trying to enjoy these last few days of freedom. Reconnecting with old friends isn’t quite Holden Caulfield’s preservation by glass cases, but it’s the closest humans can get. I was 22 when I first met Jo. Julie once played with my car keys on the Damien gym floor when she was still wearing diapers. A childless Lynnette and I attended Julie’s first birthday party at Ala Moana Beach Park back when I was still wearing size 34 board shorts. It was kind of a trip to think about how much has happened in seemingly no time at all.