Madison and I picked up Grandpa early this morning with plans to go fishing and swimming. Madison told me she was going to be a patient girl because an opportunity to wear her life jacket hung in the balance. One day in the not-so-distant future when my daughter is a tween or full-blown teen, I’ll come back to these entries and tear up reminiscing about a time when I had leverage of any kind.
We pulled of Kamehameha Highway in Ka’a’awa and my dad got his poles ready. Madison munched on the remains of her McDonald’s breakfast in the car while I unpacked a few items. While Madison is generally a brave girl, she get very concerned about the safety of others. She doesn’t like Lynnette or me to walk near the edge of balconies. She always thinks we’re going to fall. When my dad hopped up on the rock wall, Madison shouted at him to be careful.
That’s why it was so cool when Madison agreed to accompany me down the side of the wall. She found a flat rock to sit on and was indeed a very patient girl. She soon said she wanted to get lower because she was hot and wanted some water to hit her. Well, she got her wish. My dad and I saw a pretty large wave making its way toward us, but I don’t think Mad did until it was almost upon her. The water crashed into the rocks and jumped up at Madison, thoroughly drenching her. “I want to move back up,” she said.
Madison was actually very good about waiting and watching while we fished. She counted to three to let me know when to cast my line. She reacted with audible disappointment every single time I reeled the line in and only the lead and hook reappeared. I don’t know what she thinks fishing is, but man, get used to it, girl. Anyway, the best part, though, was when Madison decided she would reel the line in herself. It wound slowly. If there were any fish – and it certainly didn’t seem like it – they probably thought the false fish at the end of the line was disabled or lazy. I am so very proud to say that Madison has graduated to real reels from the egg beater at Williams Sonoma.
Though it wasn’t planned, we just continued driving in the same direction and ended up at Turtle Bay. It was Mad’s reward for behaving so well while the fish completely ignored Grandpa and I. The tide was in at our favorite tide pool and it was perfect. Madison finally gave up on her Walmart water shoes and swapped them out for O’Neill ones. The insoles of the Walmart pair had come apart and floated around inside the shoes, leading to sand in the area between. How do I know? Because that’s exactly what’s happening on the inside of my pair. Well, I guess Mad’s new shoes must be awesome because it came with an increase in confidence. Suddenly, she wanted to traverse the wet parts of the reef with Grandpa and me. I suspect this sudden boost in audacity might have also had something to do with her new favorite jacket.
My dad caught a hermit crab who I have since named Darrow. Darrow is the most aggressive hermit crab I have ever encountered. Most hermit crabs will – if tilted backward to reveal the hole in their shell – hide, using one of their claws to cover the hole and protect themselves. Darrow, however, did not do this. Instead, Darrow popped himself nearly out of his shell, then used both claws to pinch me. It didn’t hurt, but I could tell it was a pinch. “How’s this guy?” I said. “I know,” my dad said. “He tried to pinch me, too.” This worried Madison, but we quickly found out that Darrow only pinched when he was rolled on his back. Once left to his own devices, all he cared about was moving about and getting away from the loud girl in the brightly colored life jacket. I tried to get a picture of him doing his pinching, but my camera focused on my hand instead. This wouldn’t have happened if I had a GoPro, Lynnette.
It’s possible that the best part of the day for all three of us was lunch. We stopped at Teddy’s in Wahiawa and basically annihilated the food we ordered. My personal highlight of this meal came near the end when Madison and my dad split the remainder of her french fries. I looked up and saw Madison dipping a fry into the cup of ketchup. “Whaaaaaat?” I said. “No, no!” Madison said, shaking her head. She lifted the fry and my dad took it from her, his fingers the talons of a majestic eagle, the fry a helpless salmon. “It’s for grandpa!” Of course it was.