Due to a series of unrelated events, I haven’t been able to spend much time with Madison this week. Lynnette’s mom retired and has picked her up from school every day this week except for yesterday. I stayed at school late on Wednesday, but I was able to pick her up from school Thursday. Since I’ve taken to bringing a Hydroflask to school everyday, I am drinking a tremendous amount of water. I use the bathroom before I leave work, but you know how afternoon traffic is on Oahu. Yesterday, I thought I was going to explode before I made it to Mad’s school. I power walked through the cafeteria, muttering “Please, nobody be in there” as I headed to the boy’s restroom. I got lucky.
I could see that Madison’s after school group was out in the middle of the field. I walked briskly out there, too, because I really missed my Goob. She must have missed me to, because ordinarily, she would have done that thing where she pretends not to see me – even though we’ve already made eye contact. Not yesterday. She hustled up to where I was standing and signing her out. She held out her hand first (that never happens!). “I’ve missed you,” I said. “I missed you, too,” she replied. I took her backpack and jacket and she swung her water bottle in her other hand. “Green light today?” I asked. “Yes,” she said. “How was school?” I asked. “It was good,” she said. “Any homework?” I asked. “No,” she said. “I’m just sweaty.” Ah. “From running around?” I asked. “Yeah,” I said. I already knew where this was headed, but for fun, I tried to draw it out as long as possible. “I’m sweaty, too,” I said. “From what?” she asked. “The sun. I’m so hot. If only there was something we-” I said. She cut me off “ICEE!” she shouted. “I knew it!” I said. She laughed. “And maybe something to go on the side…” she said. “But we have dinner with Mama and Papa tonight!” I cried with mock shock. “That’s okay, dad, if we don’t finish it, we can just take it home.”
When we got home after sitting in our spot and watching some boys do tricks on their bicycles in the parking lot, Madison was still on a high, possibly induced by a recent and rapid sugar intake. She danced like this during a commercial.
Whenever Madison does silly things like this, it throws Lynnette into a series of full-blown lamentations. “She’s going to be the class clown, isn’t she?” Lynnette will say. “She’s going to be the girl who the teacher has to constantly tell to be quiet, isn’t she?” Lynnette will say. I don’t know. I don’t know what girls look like while they’re growing up.
As I took these photos, I noticed that Lynnette had tied Madison’s bangs up and off to the side. We had agreed on letting Madison’s bangs grow out weeks ago, and I guess they’ve finally become a problem. I liked being able to see her face, but it kind of nailed home the fact that I haven’t spent much time with her recently. Sometimes when I look into her face (like in the second photo), it looks slightly wrong. I didn’t pick up on the hair thing until we got home. I consider myself an observant person, so this was kind of startling.
Anyway, I hope the weather cooperates and that we are able to make a trip out to a new beach this weekend. I hope to spend time splashing Madison in the face with water, tickling her under the chin, and all of the other things I do to irritate her. Never in a million years could I have predicted that I would derive so much joy from encumbering my own offspring, but it really is the best of stuff in life.