“Mister?” one of my students – an offensive lineman on the football team – said in class last week. “Yes?” I said. “You went to the first St. Francis game, yeah?” he continued. “Yeah,” I said. “But you didn’t go to the other two?” he asked. “No,” I said. “You were at the Iolani games, too?” he asked. “Yeah, I was,” I said. I knew what he was getting at. “So you have to come this Friday,” he said, referring to last weekend’s ILH Division II Championship game. “Yeah, I’ll be there,” I said. The Monarchs won 13-12 and ended with a series that called to mind the final drive in the legendary Seahawks/Patriots Super Bowl. If you want me to describe what happened in excruciating detail, message me.
So anyway, I decided on Sunday night that I’m going to Kauai to watch the team play in the State semi-final. I am a logical man but sports does something to completely override all that, man. I am a recovering superstitious sports fan. I no longer believe that my actions in any way, shape, or form affect the outcome of a game that I am not a participant in. But also, they might?
I decided late Sunday night to bring Madison with me. I was going to surprise her Friday, but Lynnette’s dad inadvertently let it slip that she was coming with me. When I asked her this evening how she feels about it, she dropped this smirk. “I’m excited,” she said, trying to not to smile too broadly. “We haven’t gone on a trip since the Era of Peace,” she said. I can’t be sure, but I believe “The Era of Peace” is name Mad has given to the time of her life before the events of November 9th and 10th of 2015.
So we’ll watch the game at 2:00. Before that, we’re going to hit up the Kamalani Playground, which is one of the largest and best playgrounds in the state. I have Googled it and I’m not sure I’ve seen one single picture capture the entire structure. Madison’s eyes nearly rolled back into her skull when I showed her the search results. I don’t know that the Playground Tour will ever be the same after this one. Hopefully we’ll eat at a couple of signature spots before we come back late Saturday night.
Before I leave this entry to Yelp “best Kauai restaurants”, I need to thank Lynnette. This whole thing started on Sunday night when I said, “I’m only half-serious – but do you think I could go to Kauai on Saturday?” She squinted her eyes and muttered “Saturday, Saturday, Saturday…” “Oh, shit,” I said. “That’s your birthday.” She laughed. “IT IS!” she said. “Just go,” she said. And so I am.
There was a time when such a thing would be impossible. It would have led to a fight and one of us – and there’s really no telling which – sleeping on the couch for a night or two. But Lynnette and I have come a long way from the younger, more emotional versions of ourselves. Don’t get me wrong – I owe her one hell of a rain check dinner – but truth be told, the coolest part of all this is knowing that she and I are at a place in our relationship where we can say “Just go” (or “fine” or “whatever” or “up to you”) and actually mean it, and actually want it for each other. Thanks, babe. Just do your research and let me know what you want us to bring back for you.