For the second year in a row, we attended the Hawaii Children and Youth Day event at the State Capitol Building. As an added bonus, my parents and my brother Paul came along.
The best part about the Hawaii Children and Youth event is the sheer number free activities that Madison enjoys. Despite having the attention span of a mayfly, Madison can sit still and do arts-and-crafts things if she is truly interested. She found a kite-making table and was suckered in by stacks of sticker sheets. I was thrilled to see that she had affixed the numbers 8 and 9 to her kite as an homage to her two favorite has-been, overweight erstwhile baseball players. If the kite does not fly because it is too heavy, it would be the perfect metaphorical touch (I imagine Matty nodding his head as Tanya reads him this paragraph).
Somehow, most of the things which drew Madison’s attention were community service-based. She agreed to wait in line so she could enter the ambulance. “You know you rode in one once?” I asked her while we stood in line. “But you were asleep because you were very sick,” I said. “I don’t renember,” Madison said. “I got to ride in one, too.” I told her. “Where you really hurt?” she asked. “Yeah, I drank too much of something bad,” I said. That is about as honest as I can be with my 5-year-old daughter about that particular episode. College is awesome. Anyway, she sat in the gurney, listened to her heart, and browsed at all of the items within. “We see them on the road all the time, don’t we?” I asked. “Yeah, and when their lights are on, that means someone’s in trouble,” she added.
The highlight of our day came at the Hawaii Heart Foundation (really!). They had a number of human dummies laid out for CPR practice, but they also had a dog (left) for the same purpose. We were told by the teenager that the procedure is no breaths (phew!) and compressions under the crook of the front leg. “How many compressions?” Lynnette asked. “Just keep going,” the girl said. “How fast?” my mom asked. “Well, you know that song ‘Stayin’ Alive?’ like that,” the girl answered. My mom had a puzzled look on her face. “Really?” my mom said.
For those of you who don’t know, my mom is a wonderful woman with two fatal flaws. First, she is incapable of taking photographs. Second, she is prone to bouts of vacuousness. Though my mom’s eyes were obscured by her sunglasses, I could tell she was troubled. “No, mom,” I said. It’s the beat of the song. I clapped out a few beats. “You don’t stop when Barry stops singing.” She started laughing. I knew it.
It started to drizzle and the threat of worse chased us from the Capitol. We ate lunch at the Alley where the Denver vs. Dallas was playing on a huge screen on the wall of the bowling area. I am not ready to talk about the game yet, but I will say this: If the Cowboys go back to the conservative offense next week, I’ll cry. They’ll be tears of frustration, the kind I used to shed in my youth when I tried to figure out how a girl could want another guy when she knew she could have me while listened to the Spin Doctors’ “How Could You Want Him When You Know You Could Have Me.”
We ended up at Samurai for dessert. I had promised my family soft serve, but the only flavor they had on the machine today as honeydew melon. My dad opted for the large container of frozen ice cream. As we began eating outside the store, I looked at my dad removing the lid from his container. “Can you eat one of those in one sitting?” I asked. “I don’t know,” he said.
For those of you who don’t know, my dad is a serious man – especially when it comes to food. While he did not explicitly say so, the unspoken end of his statement was “I guess we’re going to find out.” And we did. The answer is a resounding YES. “That’s impressive,” I said. “That’s gross,” Paul said. “It’s impressive because it’s gross,” I said. Thanks for a great day, mom, dad, and Paul!