A Gorgeous Day at Lanikai

We left the house before 9 this morning and that’s pretty amazing. My sleeping habits are the worst they’ve been in years. I routinely sleep after midnight, then usually wake at some time between 8 and 9, then eventually try to squeeze in a nap in the afternoon. This nap, of course, is the primary reason I can’t sleep until much later at night. The secondary reason I can’t sleep at night is because I’ve got some kind of horrible thing growing on the back of my head, and it hurts. I think it started as a pimple that kept getting rubbed on the headrest in my car, my pillow, the couch, and it’s become this whole other thing. I asked Lynnette to check it. She put her fingers on it flipped up some hair. “It’s not on your skull because I can move it,” she said as she moved it. Thanks. I don’t know what it is, other than sore, that is.

She's still showing reluctance on the climbing parts.

She’s still showing reluctance on the climbing parts.

She tries to kick my hands as I try to take pictures. Sometimes I don't know how we're friends.

She tries to kick my hands as I try to take pictures. Sometimes I don’t know how we’re friends.

They’re always exciting, those few moments before emerging from the windward side of the Tetsuo Harano tunnels. No matter what it looks like in Halawa Valley, three’s always a chance that the skies will be gray and/or crying on the other side of the mountains. When we shot out of the tunnel this morning, the sunshine was only slightly subdued as compared to its presentation in Halawa. We moved on toward Kailua and the sun never let up. The first stop on today’s leg of the Playground Tour 2014 was Kailua District Park. My friend Mariel tipped me off that the play structure was hidden between several buildings on the fire station side of the park. We never would have known because we always drive by the park on the other side. Mad and I found a playset similar to those newer blue ones popping up around the island; the closest one to us is the one at Kipapa Park. For whatever reason, these never feature a slide, but compensate for that by boasting a solid three handfuls of ways to climb to a height at which a slide would be optimal. Madison never seems to mind – I think she likes climbing best, anyway. She shows slight hesitation and says “My hands are sweaty” whenever she comes across a point of the structure she doesn’t want to climb. We also hit up the Lanikai Playground, but discovered that it was built for younger children. Madison couldn’t really explore the structure because a woman and her two children decided to have a picnic on one of its tiers, you know, despite the numerous benches lining the fences. Didn’t matter. The Lanikai Playground has swings, which is the cure-all as far as Madison is concerned. It’s like going to a restaurant you’ve never been to and feeling uncertain of the menu. Then you see they’ve got a prime rib and damn, if everything isn’t just fine.

Not that I would have any background to know, but she's getting pretty good at this.

Not that I would have any background to know, but she’s getting pretty good at this.

Best part of the day: having the kid lug you around for a change.

Best part of the day: having the kid lug you around for a change.

We had to turn around when we left the house for Shark’s Cove yesterday because Madison forgot her life jacket. “You’re responsible for it from now on,” I told her. She nodded. She already knew. Well, she forgot the jacket again today, but we were already on the freeway before I realized it. I told her we weren’t going back and she nodded. She already know. “Well, I said, maybe it’s for the best,” I said. “What do you mean?” she said. “I would be hard to surf with your life jacket on,” I answered. “Yeah, the buckles might hurt me,” she said. I have no idea how she makes these leaps between trips, but it seems like she’s gotten stronger and more coordinated than the last time she tried surfing. I am sure it has something to do with the relative strength of the tide, but she still impressed me today by getting on the board by herself, popping up into a squat, then standing.

Whenever we watch documentaries featuring animals, I always marvel at cubs, baby birds, pups, etc. because I don’t understand how they know when to try for shit. But maybe that’s what Mad’s been doing for the past 6 years, but since I don’t think of her as a wolf cub or seal pup, I assume Lynnette and I will be the ones to tell her when it’s time to take developmental steps. But um, the last six years pretty much throw that idea back in my face. Or out the window. Or with the bathwater. It’s the same thing, I guess. We can suggest things, but I guess it’s always going to be up to her, ultimately. The best we can do is celebrate in success and be supportive in failure. Speaking of failure…

Nice toss!

Nice toss!

Move your feet!

Move your feet!

I was pleasantly surprised my Mad’s interest in tossing the ball around today. Maybe it’s because she’s stronger than last summer when she tried – and often failed – to get anything on her throws. Depending on her release point, she can throw the ball to me from 10 feet away. That’s pretty good because the last thing I want to do is chase the ball around all day. I think Madison was trying extra-hard to be accurate because she was afraid the ball would float away. Every time she made an errant throw, she shouted “Go get it, dad!” It didn’t matter how close the ball was or how shallow the water we were were playing in. By the end of the day, I was throwing the ball fairly high into the air. I know the water slows movement, but I gotta be honest, I don’t think her reads on fly balls are any good. The ball routinely splashed down 5-10 feet away from her. Though on the bright side, after about 20 chances, she started moving in the right direction before the ball hit the water. Who knows? Maybe she’ll become the first Higa who can judge and catch fly balls. Her genetics are strongly against it. But hey, don’t take my word for it:

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