Tomari Picnic 2013

Jay Z’s “Sunshine” woke Lynnette and me from our sleep early this morning. The annual picnic for our family’s Okinawan club was scheduled for today and it didn’t look too promising at 5:30. It was wet outside and a light drizzle fell.

Abby's a morning person. Madison, not so much.

Abby’s a morning mammal. Madison, not so much.

Jay Z did not stir Madison. She slept right on through the alarm on my phone. She remained unconscious when Lynnette and I began the process of washing up. I turned the light on in the bedroom and Madison grunted, then pulled her blanket over her head. Lynnette and I let Madison sleep in a little longer before actually trying to pull her from bed futon, but I suppose I was loud on purpose, trying to irritate her into a state of awareness. I should have known it would not work.

“Time to get up, Madison!” Lynnette said, pretty cheery for 5:40 in the morning. “I’m still tired!” Madison replied. Lynnette tugged down the blanket. “I’m too cold!” Madison grumbled before ripping the blanket back over her entire body. She forgot to add “I’m too mean!”


Lynnette and I are just happy Madison survived this game.

As you may already know, Madison is the worst slipper-wearer in the world. For reasons that must be metaphysical, Madison cannot function like a human child when she wears slippers. She trips in them. They always fall off when we’re seated for dinner in restaurants. Her sweaty feet slide out of them. She ever has trouble getting her feet in them sometimes.

“I don’t think I can do that,” Madison said as she watched an older girl demonstrate the game. “Yeah you can,” I said. “It’s just like skiing.” No, Madison’s never been skiing. “I might need a little help,” she said. I told her that I would have her back. The wooden block slippers race was the first game and Madison took a little while warming up to them. She was clingy and whiny like always whenever she is embarrassed or reluctant to do things. Eventually, she got over it. Before that though, she was a Drama Princess worthy of her mother’s maiden name. She flopped like a soccer player during the potato sack race. She had the gall to tell me that she couldn’t jump from hula hoop to hula hoop when they were set on the grass half-a-foot apart. “You jump farther than that on the couch!” I said. Another parent who was nearby laughed. “If you don’t play any games, you don’t get any prizes,” I said, pointing to the tent. She saw a water noodle. “Okay,” she said. That was that.

Not pictured: Athleticism.

Not pictured: Athleticism.

When it came time for the adults games, Lynnette displayed the same lack of athleticism that I recognized way back when we first started dating. Obviously, with legs like those, her athletic shortcomings weren’t deal-breakers.

Anyway, one of the relays we ran today involved rolling a hula hoop a short distance and back. It looked like Lynnette’ hula hoop was alive. It appeared to have a mind and will all its own because when Lynnette would push it forward, it would dart out a few feet, then take a sharp turn left or right. Lynnette would have to sprint to track it down to right it. Gosh, if she wasn’t the cutest thing out there today.

She and I would later obliterate the 3-legged race relay. Some of my family members observing the race remarked at how Lynnette and I were the fastest pair by far. “Seven years of marriage,” we said in union, drawing even more glowing remarks. If you want to know the truth, Lynnette and I stood tied together near the start line before the race. “In first,” she said, dictating our first step. “Is that your in or my in?” I asked jokingly. “I like punch you in the face,” she said. When it was our turn, We did go in first, and I started saying “in, out, in out,” as we ran. I sped up my cadence as we turned around the bucket. I was also holding a shave ice. This was probably our greatest instance of teamwork ever. You know, other than making a baby.

All I know is I will never team with Matty again.

Lunch: Madison's least favorite part of any outing.

Lunch: Madison’s least favorite part of any outing.

We hold going to the beach over Mad’s head so she’ll stay in line during the first part of the day. When the games were over, we hid from the sun under our family tent. Worth mentioning: it was wet and overcast when we arrived at Ala Moana and remained so riiiiiight up until the games started at 9. It actually turned out to be a glorious day, glorious but super hot. Madison had a spam musubi for lunch and pounded about half of it before slowing down. “If you don’t eat all of your lunch, you can’t go to the beach,” I said. Her nose scrunched slightly. She took a few more bites before asking how many more she had to put down. “Three more T-Rex bites,” I said. Note: A “T-Rex bite” is exactly what it sounds like. She did her thing thrice, then passed off the final two bites to me. She had washed it down with a little Kool Aid, then tried – unsuccessfully – to be patient while everyone else finished eating. “Can we go to the beach now?” she asked five minutes later. I laughed. I give her credit for holding out that long.

I'd say that playing those games was worth it.

I’d say that playing those games was worth it.

In an added bonus, Jo the Triathlete showed up and hung out with us for the better part of the day. She refrained from showing anyone up during the games or in the water at the beach. Rumor has it there might possibly be a get-together at the H this weekend in her honor.

Anyway, Madison’s decision to continue with the games paid off. She floated with her noodle and discovered the joy that is getting blasted in the face with water shot out of it.

We had been in the water for about an hour when Lynnette and I decided to head back to the tent across the street. “No!” Madison shouted. “So short!” she continued. “We’ve been here for an hour,” I said. “That was a baby hour!” she cried. I almost laughed.

It’s been a great two days of extended family time. There were many, many great moments this weekend, but the top spot wasn’t taken until late this afternoon. That particular honor goes to my wife’s face in this picture:

Still does it for me.

Still does it for me.



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