Pacific Palisades

“You ever been to Palisades?” I asked Madison this morning. “What’s that?” Madison asked. “Oh, get ready to live!” I said. I don’t know why I said that. So then I had to sell the experience so I might have exaggerated the steepness of the inclines leading to Palisades.

4I tried to remember the last time I’d been to Palisades myself. I know it had something to do with Summer Fun. I think all of the staffs in Pearl City had a meeting there. And some kind of bonding activity that was volleyball instead of sham battle and so I both sucked at and hated it.

Back in early high school I met up with some of my OLGC classmates to play basketball at the same park. I bought a pizza from the convenience store and split it with Marel.

My friends Casey and Chad grew up in Palisades; I played soccer against them, went to OLGC and Damien with them; and it was here in the thin air of Pearl City that I had my first drink of alcohol. Chad told us a crazy story the next morning on the way into town, and life seemed to change so dramatically in 24 hours. Good. Times.

12Palisades Park also got a playground renovation, so that’s where we ended up. It isn’t pictured here, but oh my goodness, Cole and Avery were not cooperative at all once we got to the park. I pulled Cole out of the van and tried to put him down so I could grab Avery, but he didn’t want to be put down. It took a few minutes to get Cole and Avery out of the van. I still had Cole in my arms but Avery decided she wanted to walk in the opposite direction of the playground. I left Avery with Madison near the van, then hustled Cole down to the playground. He let me put him down without incident because – oooooohhhh, playground! – and ran back to get Avery. When I got halfway back to the van, I shouted for Madison to go get Cole. I caught up to Avery as she tried to ascend the pavement toward the rec center. Clown.

The playground was populated by several older children who were very good about playing around Cole and Avery. It was inevitable, however, that Cole would get in someone’s way, and so he did. Another kid ran into Cole and hit him square, sending Cubby Candy flying. he almost tumbled down the stairs but Madison caught him before he fell. He fussed a little, but popped right back up and got back in the middle of things.

I have to take this time to praise Avery for not eating a single flower, twig, blade of grass, or playground fixture. Progress!

3We ended today’s adventure by meeting Lynnette at work for lunch. We picked up McDonald’s and filled her lunch room and the rest of her office with Cole and Avery noises. It’s hilarious because Avery refused to sit down, opting instead to take a nugget or fry, take a short walk, then return for another. Cole on the other hand was very well behaved. He sat in his seat and picked at the fries, nuggets, and apples. Every once in a while, he’d tilt his head back and tank some milk. He sat there for about 10 minutes before deciding he wanted to explore the office too. By then Avery had coated the soles of her feet with soot. “Oh my God, look at her feet, Phil!” Lynnette shouted as Avery lay on her tummy on the break room floor.

If Avery was Lynnette’s first child, the latter would have sprayed the former down with disinfectant, boiled her to sterilize her, steam dried her, then polished her down with Lysol wipes. Twice. But as Avery is Lynnette’s third child, Lynnette simply said “Make sure you wash her feet when you get home, Phil.” She used my first name to make sure I heard the command, but not the full version of it because she wasn’t scolding me.

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