The original plan for this morning involved the library. Lynnette didn’t leave Madison’s library card behind when she left for work, so we couldn’t do that. I went with Plan B, which is nearly always looking for new playgrounds.
Lynnette also decided against spending 15 minutes getting Madison up so she could spend 10 minutes braiding her hair. Lynnette set it all up last night by having Madison use a headband at dinner and during our movie. “If I don’t make you hair in the morning, just put on a headband, OK?” she told Madison. Madison nodded, but she was also watching Cars, so it’s entirely possible Madison had no idea what Lynnette was talking about. Anyway, I offered to throw up my signature pony tail, but Madison declined. We left the house with the front of Madison’s hair in a hybrid pompadour/bang drop. We also left the house without any dignity. So it goes.
Our first stop was Waipahu Elementary School, but I didn’t know that’s what it was until we got there. Lynnette had driven us there once or twice so I just followed a main road until it showed up on the right-hand side. I would like to use that same right hand to pat myself on the back since I have a frickin’ horrible sense of direction. It was a pretty good playground, but slightly overshadowed by the people who were already there. Look, I’m not some kind of social Nazi or someone who makes the right calls in social situations 100% of the time, but I think if you’re at a public park and you want to play chase, you can do it without your iPad featuring an app that makes assault rifle sound effects. I also think that if you’re the older sister of this kid chasing the other kids around, then you don’t have to play “Rude” 3 times in twenty minutes. Maybe that’s just me.
Since Waipahu is not my hood, I don’t know my way around at all. One of the things I do is look for school buildings. I saw what turned out to be Honowai Elementary School from a few streets below the campus. When Madison and I pulled up to the curb, Madison made out the junk playground first. I saw a secondary unit nearby and we chanced it. I can’t say it was a good choice, but the view from the park was spectacular. The lower parts of Waipahu and Pearl Harbor were visible and so were downtown and Diamond Head off in the distance. It’s the kind of place I would have brought a girlfriend to back in the day, you know, if not for the fact that there were all those kids and their parents around.
Another one of my tricks involves turning on Google Maps, then pressing the button that lets me know where the hell I am. Once I see that blinking blue dot, I start looking for patches of green in the immediate area. I found some elementary school in Kunia, but I didn’t see a playground from the street or the parking lot. I kept driving on these roads I have never ever been on and I found an expanse of green with a wholly original looking playground in the upper corner. I think it was only open because they were cutting the grass. Well, whatever. There were plenty of other families taking advantage of the space. “I had no idea this was even here!” I said. “Did you?” I asked Madison rhetorically. “Yeah,” she said. “What?” I said. I know for a fact that we have never been there before. “Oh, this is where the party was with Mama and Papa,” she said. Well, then. SOMETHING THAT COULD HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION SOONER.
Unlike the first half of our day, the second half played out just as we planned. We hit up the pool and the water was glorious.
Madison and I were already in the pool when a young woman got out of the pool wearing the equivalent of a bikini thong.
Would you like to know how I know that I am old? That I no longer inhabit the same state of existence I once did? Let me tell you! My first thought was not to silently praise modern swimwear trends. No, the first thing I did was look at Madison and hope to God that she didn’t see it and furthermore that she wouldn’t ask a question about it out loud. Dad, I can see her buns! How come she’s showing her buns, dad? Dad, what happened to her panty part? I was terrified that Madison’s traits of observation and curiosity would arise at the worst possible time. Luckily, Madison was wearing two eye patches made of her own hair and she didn’t see anything. Phew.