An Unintended Social Experiment

I was lucky enough to spend a little time with Mad before going out to dinner with Lynnette’s parents yesterday evening. Our time together is pretty erratic during the work week;  it depends mostly on whether or not I stay late to grade things. Yesterday, I hoped to get a safety check before heading home only to discover the shop had finished doing them for the day. Bonus Mad Time!

"Hi, my name is Madison Higa and these are the ways I stay healthy."

“Hi, my name is Madison Higa and these are the ways I stay healthy.”

She’s got a presentation in school today centered on ways she stays healthy. You’ll notice the complete and utter lack of candy on her poster, and that kind of, sort of feels like a misrepresentation of her character. In the final box of the third row, you’ll see that she’s listed hiking as one of the ways she stays physically fit. When I asked her if she’d like to attempt the Hanauma Bay hike this weekend, she said “We just went hiking last weekend!” In the very last box (blocked by her formidable bicep, she drew a picture of herself sleeping. “A healthy habit I have is sleeping. It keeps me healthy by giving my energy for the next day,” she says when she gets to that point of her speech. As you all know, my daughter despises naps. She also positions herself in front of my alarm clock at night in hopes that we won’t be able to see when it hits 8:00, her assigned bed time. Now, I’m not calling my daughter a liar, but man, there’s some massaging of facts going on in this presentation.

For the past month or so, she’s been going on about wanting Marble Run, a build-your-own course through which marbles make their way down with the assistance of gravity. I told her that if her presentation “meets proficiency,” I will purchase her a Marble Run set. I told her if her presentation “exceeds proficiency,” I will buy her a large Marble Run set. I wish you could have seen her smile. “You know I’m going to exceed proficiency, dad,” she said. Funny, that’s the same thing Macbeth said a couple of seconds before Birnam Wood started marching on his castle.

Putting in some extra work.

Putting in some extra work.

While we waited to leave the house, Madison cued up Lynnette’s tablet. I guess she had left a browser open on my blog site because Madison was reading it. She did so unnoticed until she asked me what a certain word meant, so I looked to see what she was doing. I answered her, then asked what she was reading. “About our Disneyland summer,” she said. I decided to leave her to it. A few minutes later I heard her snicker. A few minutes after that, she said “I love you, dad.” I don’t know what she read, but man, did that hit the spot.

“I have a blog, too,” she said, just as we were about to leave the house. “Oh, yeah?” I said. “Yeah, but I have to sign into it, and you and mom don’t know how to get there, and I don’t want you guys to read it,” she said. It reminded me of that character in Mystery Men who could turn invisible, but only if nobody was watching. It did strike me, however, how much she adores me. It feels strange to type that, as my Japanese upbringing makes me feel bad about speaking of myself positively, but it’s true. Here, I’ll show you:



The hostess sat us quickly and handed Madison a blank football helmet to color. My attention drifted between my phone and the television screen overhead. “Look, dad,” Mad said. She held up her handiwork. “I couldn’t fit ‘Cowboys’ on the front,” she said. “That’s okay, it’s on the other side of the helmet,” I said. “Yeah, yeah,” she said. She did this completely without provocation. I took this picture of her, which – as it turns out – is a dead-ringer for a picture I just took within the last week. If Mad’s not my mini-me in appearance, she certainly is in personality. I don’t know that I’ve ever been more happy and worried at the same time.


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