An overcast sky is among the most frustrating things to wake up to. The worst, of course, is any kind of alarm, but I’d argue that a dull blue sky or a pale gray one is right up there. An overcast sky is nature’s metaphor for doubt. Is it going to rain? Is it going to clear up? Recently, my family has been challenging the cloudy skies and driving out to the beach anyway. Best case: it clears up and we can go to the beach. Worst case: it rains and we have to do something in doors, but since everyone in Hawaii wears beach clothing every where, it doesn’t really matter. What’s is there to lose?
We hit the jackpot with the weather today. It was cloudy and hazy, and therefore muggy. But it also meant that the sun wasn’t oppressive and prone to flesh burning. The water in the lagoon at Ko’olina wasn’t algae’d out like the last time, but there was some run off near the shore. It did the job. Unlike the water at Kailua Beach which is warm upon entering, Ko’olina is always cold – at least in the morning, which is when you have to get there if you don’t want to spend half-an-hour in your car waiting to park. But even Lynnette got into the water today. Everybody wins!
Madison has a kind of bravery in the water that I’ve never possessed myself, so it is a wonderful thing to see. She got into her tube and she offered to alternately tow Lynnette and I around the lagoon. Lynnette got on the board first, but this makes it sound simpler than it really was. As I watched Lynnette almost drown herself trying to mount the body board, I could see my unborn son botching grounder after grounder in a galaxy far, far away. When Lynnette finally boarded the board, Madison took the leash and paddled in the water. They made slow progress, but I suppose that’s better than what happened when Madison tried to tow the USS Phil. There was a lot of grunting and other sounds of exasperation. Everything culminated in Madison’s request to pull Lynnette again because I was too heavy. “I have to use the ground to pull you, dad!” she said. Well, I guess she pulled the old two birds with one stone trick because while she was trampling the sand, she was doing the same to my heart.
The highlight of the our day came when we were leaving the beach. Madison had already rinsed herself off in the shower and Lynnette told me to grab the plastic bag containing the Goob’s change of clothes. Sadly, said bag containing said clothes was not to be found.
“It’s not in there? You didn’t pack it?” Lynnette asked. “You mean YOU didn’t pack it?” I replied. I had given Lynnette the plastic bag before I applied sun tan lotion to Mad’s skin. “Sorry, Mad,” I said. “You gotta cruise nakes.” She wasn’t particularly upset and perhaps she was even pleased when Lynnette turned her beach towel into a makeshift version of the Infinity Dress. And since Madison had a bag of dried green mango keeping her company on the way home, she didn’t complain about rocking “The Phil” on the way home.
Sometimes when we go out, Abby protests by dropping a turd on the carpet near enough to her wee-pads to imply spite. I mean, they’re right there. She’s making the conscious decision to show us up. It’s the only logical conclusion. “Hey, there’s red things in Abby’s doots,” Madison said. “Is it Lego?” I asked half-seriously. “I don’t know!” Madison said. I snapped this picture of what happened next. I would like to use this event to tell you about my wife and one of the many, many reasons I am in love with her.
Lynnette does this thing. If her mind is occupied by her phone, the tv, etc., she cannot carry on a conversation, but she casually tries. Oh, she can hear if you speak to her, but she’s like a starship in a sci-fi movie: she only has a finite amount of attention to divert to various stimuli. If you’re putting all the energy into the front shields, other features of the ship are going to suffer. If Lynnette is looking at her phone, she’ll kind-of, sort-of have a conversation with you, but it’s incoherent and infuriating. She has an idea about the topic and she generally knows when she’s being asked a question, but not necessarily what the question is. “Mom, I want to eat this right now,” Madison once said, holding a bag of candy. “Mm-hmm,” Lynnette said after a few beats without looking up from her phone. We were minutes away from dinner. She does this to me, too, but it’s funny when it’s Madison because she takes Lynnette’s word for it. So what does this have to do with Abby’s turd?
“Can you pick up Abby’s turd?” I asked Madison. “No, I don’t like to pick up Abby’s turd,” Madison said. Lynnette, browsing her phone, chimed in with “that’s what you said about pickled mango, but now you love it.” She never looked up from her phone. No one was talking to her. “What?” I said. “Huh?” Lynnette said, lifting her head.