The Ducks Hit the Jackpot

Madison and I have a serious shot at breaking our summer record for cool activities, but that would require me to know what the standing tally is. Due to my aversion to math and my upbringing as a baseball player, I am much more a “ballpark” guy than an “exact number” guy. That said, I have no idea, but it feels like we’re on a pace, probably because even though we’re going to the pool every day, we’re also doing something else novel in the morning.

She wouldn't smell her hand when I asked her.

She wouldn’t smell her hand when I asked her.

I drove to Moanalua Gardens this morning to feed the ducks. Before we got on the freeway, Madison and I bought a fairly sizable thing of koi pellets so we’d she’d have more ammunition to hurl in the direction of the ducks above the water and fish beneath it. I also brought along a red Solo cup to officially make today’s outing a party. Mad handed out the pellets liberally and was upset with some of the larger ducks who did not allow the ducklings space. Eventually, she figured out that by launching several handfuls far away, she could drop some food for the slower baby ducks. The highlight for me was when a duck ate the pellets from her hand. “That was awesome!” I exclaimed. She looked up at me with face that decidedly conveyed not awesome. “How was it?” I asked. “Gross,” she said. She lifted her hand. It was muddy. “He put his dirty mouth on my hand, and now it’s yucky.” I looked at Mad and for a split-second, I think I hallucinated. Is this a tiara I see before me?



We were home when Lynnette dropped in for lunch. She ate her meal, hung out for a bit, and just before she was about to leave, I asked her to make Madison’s hair so we could go to the pool. “WHAT?” Lynnette said. “Nah, no need,” I said. I already knew there was no going back. “This is something you’re supposed to ask me 10 minutes ago!” she continued in not a nice tone. “I just thought of it now,” I said. I fancy myself an intelligent and clever man, but when I hear myself say things like that instead of “I know, you’re right, I made a mistake,” I feel like an idiot. Learn the lesson, Phil. “Maybe you don’t have to do the whole Katniss Everdeen thing,” I said. “THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES TO KEEP HER HAIR OUT OF HER FACE,” Lynnette said sternly. Earlier in the day, I tried the ponytail/bang clip combo and for some reason Mad’s hair was too light this morning. It wasn’t staying down, it kept puffing up. I really did try three times! “I’m just going to get a headband, already, dad,” Madison said. She walked into her room and reappeared wearing a headband but also like a modified, modernized version of the late ’80s/early ’90s wave in the front of her head. I gave it a couple of whirls and really, I did no better. What will people think of me if I let her leave the house like this? I often think to myself in these situations. I admit, it does trouble me, only not nearly as much as Madison saying “I’M BORED!” over and over and over and over and over.



I had a softball game at 6:15 but I was wiped out from the 75 minutes we spent in the pool. My legs were still stiff and tight from the Saturday hike, and I was praying I could do something that would require minimal movement like third base. Nope. Our starting shortstop didn’t come and neither did Matty, so desperate times called for me at shortstop again. I didn’t make an error; I even caught a line drive I never really saw because the sun was a few minutes from setting behind the mountains and the arrangement of the field is such that it shines right in the eyes of everyone on the left side. Later in the game I fielded a grounder then turned to throw to first. I threw the ball in the direction of the silhouette. We won, I didn’t screw up, so I have no complaints. I will, however, try to sweet talk myself into a nice foot massage from my beautiful, loving wife in a few minutes. Whenever I hear Vanessa Williams say, “They say it’s a blessing, they say it’s a gift, they say it’s a miracle and I believe that it is,” I believe she’s talking about Lynnette’s deep and unfaltering love for me.


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