4th of July 2014: No Fireworks of Any Kind/A Coke Named Phil

Lynnette’s been feeling under the weather this week so the three of us have more or less been confined to the house. There have been a few pool breaks, and the laundry got done this morning, but other than that, our outings have been limited to errands. Or, if you’re me, three trips to Costco in the past week. It’s incredible, really. I don’t even work there.



In addition to the Playground Tour 2014 and trying to find the best beach spots for kids, this summer has granted me another personal quest. The Share a Coke campaign has set me off on the personal mission of finding a 20-ounce Coke with my name on it. Literally. And literally not in the way young people use the word “literally.” We emptied out nearly every bottle in the Walmart display yesterday and came away with only a bottle emblazoned with “Matt” on it. Madison proudly gave it to Matty at dinner yesterday. This evening, I found a Diet Coke with “Phil” on it, which is really the worst possible outcome. It’s just a dick move on the part of the soda gods. Maybe they’re trying to tell me something you say? I think you’re right. They’re telling me that I should never give up, never surrender. By the way, if you see a 20-ounce Coke with my name on it, please tell me where. I should be able to get there in time. I mean, there can’t be too many jerks with the name Phil on a vision quest to find their own personal Coke.

Elbow up.

Elbow up.

Snap at release.

Snap at release.

Follow through down.

Follow through down.

There would be no fireworks of the aerial or horizontal kind for us yesterday so Lynnette had to settle for Pop-Pops with Madison in my parents’ driveway. My side of the family have never been big on fireworks, but Lynnette is Filipino woman who grew up in Hawaii lighting things on fire with her sister and cousins just as you’d expect. The state’s fireworks ban means nothing to me other than clearer roads, but to Lynnette, it’s like the death of a family tradition. She shakes her fist at you in anger, local lawmakers.

Anyway, Madison’s tentative behavior with the Pop-Pops was one of the highlights of our celebration of our great nation. First, she threw the little morsels so softly that they didn’t pop on impact with the concrete. That’s really hard to do. I’ve seen people drop them by mistake and pop them. Once her family members implored her to throw harder, she did. That’s when she added a hop to her Pop-Pop throwing mechanics. She began with her hand high above her head, from which point she’d swing her arm down violently. At some time between there and the moment her hand hit her hip, she’d let go of the Pop-Pop, then take a jab step/hop step backward. Most times, it was timed with the sound of the small explosion.

“Throw at it daddy,” Lynnette said. “No! I can’t!” Madison said, looking up at her mother. “Why not?” Lynnette asked. “Because I’ll kill him!” she said. She was dead serious and our entire family started cracking up. It took some convincing to get her to step on some of them with her foot. She thought the blast would somehow make its way through her slipper and kill her too. If you don’t mind, I’m going to go ahead and enjoy these fleeting moments of my daughter still acting cautiously. I don’t know how much longer it’ll last, you know?

I’d like to thank Lynnette for capturing another of the day’s highlights:

Brothers can't shake hands, they gotta watch Clueless together and marvel at how dated it seems.

Brothers can’t shake hands, they gotta watch Clueless together and marvel at how dated it seems.


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