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Spring Break Adventure No. 42: Selective Memory

Cory may remember today most vividly for something that happened this morning, something that no one else will recall. Fisher might remember today for something different, probably also unremarkable to anyone else, maybe something that happened this afternoon. And, Papa will probably remember today for some strange dream or thought or experience that he and he alone had tonight.

Daddy will remember today for this morning’s rain shower, the only one of the trip, that ended what was about to be a fun tennis match and brought a smile to Fisher’s face and for an entire afternoon spent in the pool and out of it, listening to Papa yuck it up with an amazingly attentive poolside waiter, chat with new neighbors on each side, one couple from Cleveland here on a gazillionth all-inclusive trip and another from Phoenix about to get married on the property on Wednesday, throw the twins into the water, toss each of them tennis balls in some made up game, perform imaginary operations on them after somehow getting them supine on the hammock, operations without anesthesia as all the giggling attests, and, in the quieter moments, splash pretty quietly as he swims laps up and down the length of a very long pool. Daddy has never really been drawn to the idea of putting any kind of pool in in the back yard at home. But, after the sights and sounds of this afternoon, the idea has gained considerable appeal.

Papa goes in to take a shower. He has stripped the swimsuits off the kids while they are still in the water. They are naked in public. Moons over Mexico, baby. Fisher is a bit horrified. Cory thinks it’s hilarious. Daddy wraps them each in a towel and pulls them onto his lap on the lounge chairs. A decision is made to compose a new verse to My Favorite Things, an ode to the trip to Cancun, based on the things seen right there from the hotel room deck overlooking the swim-out pool.

D: What do you see?
F: Goggles.
C: Towels.
F: The hammock.
C: Those foxtails.
F: And the rockets and rings!

That’ll work:

Goggles at poolside and hammocks on latches
Beach towels on lounge chairs and foxtails in patches
Papa, Cory, Fisher, all diving for rings
These are a few of our favorite things.

Whatever else they might take from this day, Daddy will add the verse to the nightly lullaby to help them share what will be his memory of the afternoon, too.

Spring Break Adventure No. 41: April Showers

Fisher is grumpy on the way to kids club.

F: I wish I just didn’t have to go to kids club today!
D: You wish that every day, Fisher, but Daddy and Papa want to play tennis.
F: Can I just play tennis with you?
D: Fisher, you are just learning to play tennis. In a few years, you’ll be able to play well enough to join us. But right now, you need to be at the kids club so we can play.
F: Can’t I just sit next to you and watch?
D: Um, in a word: no.
F: But, I won’t talk to you.
D: Yes, you will.
F: I have a good choice for you, Daddy. If you let me just sit with you instead of going to the kids club, you could have double desserts tonight.
C: Fisher, Daddy can have double desserts whenever he wants. He’s an adult.
F: Well, that’s your choice. It’s a good one, Daddy.

The kids are reluctant but compliant at drop off. Papa’s serve finally starts to click. He’s holding the first set to within one break. The first few drops of rain to fall on this trip quickly turn into a downpour. The kids earn early release from their “prison.”

D: Fisher, did you do a rain dance to make it rain?
F (smiling big): No, but I like rain. It hasn’t rained on me in a long time. I’ll go get the umbrella.

His day is looking up.

Spring Break Adventure No. 37: Any Scrap of Shade

Daddy and Cory sit under an umbrella on a beach of fine white sand that stretches under the water, without exaggeration, for hundreds of yards into the Caribbean Sea on the north end of Isla Mujeres. The sand and sun combine for water that could not be clearer, giving the whole area a pretty amazing turquoise glow.

Fisher digs a hole at the water’s edge, fighting that age-old futile battle against the waves. Papa floats in only waist-high water about 50-60 yards further out near the buoy line, beyond which are anchored 25 or so white yachts.The yachting set all stand around their boats out there, drinking and laughing.

D: Cory, this beach may be among the prettiest, cleanest places you will ever swim. (Thinking of a book just finished that closed with a vision of 2050 that has oil reserves gone, plane travel impossible, and civilization sliding into immobile chaos.) Are you sure you don’t want to head back out there?

No response. At some point, age, exhaustion, and relative sensitivity to the sun have her just searching for scraps of shade. On the ferry ride back to the mainland, she settles underneath the side railing.

Turquoise, schmurquoise.

Spring Break Adventure No. 35: Talent

The twins dread drop off at the kids club every morning. But, the Disney extravaganza has them BEGGING to go see what production the club is putting on every night. Papa draws a line, but Daddy relents. Tonight turns out to be the weekly talent show. That would be a showcase for the “talents” of the kids in the club, aged 3 to 8, from all over the world, none of whom or of whose parents Daddy has ever met.

Omigod. The only blessing is that Daddy and the twins arrive at 8, laboring under a beautiful misimpression that the show, whatever it might be, would start then. It started at 7:30.

‘“Estan listos?” booms the emcee’s kindergarten voice through the microphone. Act 7 is the “Cool Girls”: two eight-year-old white girls from England in denim shorts and T-shirts tied to bare their midriffs sporting backwards baseball caps throwing gang signs to “Uptown Funk You Up.”

C (through parents clapping in time): They’re really good, right?
F: Yah, I like them a lot.

Act 8 consists of siblings, four and six, from Canada with solid senses of balance. The audience can tell because neither moves from their original spot on the stage despite hopping up and down bouncing laced wrists for the entirety of “Gangnam Style.” The whole song. Up and down. Without moving. Horizontally, that is. Daddy glances around to watch parents sing, in various accents, none of them Korean, “Hey, sexy lady, wop, wop…”

C (moving her wrists on her lap): They’re okay. Not as good as the Cool Girls.

Fisher says nothing. Act 9 has a boy, eight, from England jumping around completely incoherently on the stage while One Republic’s “Something I Need” plays, seemingly randomly, at the same time. There’s no connection between any move and any note. Daddy’s never listened to the lyrics before, but, having nothing else to do, hones in on “in this world full of people, there’s one killing me” and thinks, yah, this kid. This kid is killing me.

F: He just likes to jump, Daddy.

It goes on. Act 10 is a French girl flicking a flowing dress this way and that to “Let It Go.” Act 11 is the three-year-old sister of the two well-balanced Canadians. She literally just sways to “What Does the Fox Say?” (The fox says: OMIGOD.) Daddy considers taking a picture or two, but it seems creepy. On and on the acts go, until Act 15, a Mexican boy who, it is announced, will be doing kara-tay! (Give it up!)

Cory and Fisher look up at Daddy excited. The kindergarten teacher-cum-emcee moves three plastic children’s chairs into the middle of the stage. Loud Latin-sounding music starts. Except for the fact that the boy kicks those three chairs off the front of the stage, narrowly missing toddlers in the front row, and leaps up against the wall on either side of that stage a couple of times, it is hard to distinguish his kara-tay! from the little Brit’s incoherent jumping.

Cory and Fisher think this act is the coolest, just not as cool as the Cool Girls.

By way of finale, the emcee calls all of the performers back up on stage. Daddy motions for the kids to leave. They BEG to stick it out. The emcee proceeds to lead the whole troupe in a rousing Spanglish rendition of “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” Off to each side of the stage, unnoticed to this point, is another one of those plastic chairs. The three-year-old girl, the one without any idea what the fox says, wanders away from the knees-and-toes crowd to the chair at stage right. Displaying more energy than she had in her own act, she proceeds to kick that chair. She’s giving it all she’s got, clearly trying to kick it right off the stage, kara-tay! style. Her parents wave frantically for her to get back in line. She ignores them. That chair is anyone daring to give her Fox performance a critical review, and she’s kicking the crap out of him. Daddy smiles as he ushers the kids out of their seats.
At the outdoor stage along the walk back to the room, the kids act like they were part of the show, performing a two-minute dance of their own to no music. It ends with Fisher kissing Cory suddenly.

C (yelling): Eeeewwwww! Fisher kissed me!
F (laughing): Well, that’s how you marry!

With such a surprise ending, their act would have been more than welcome in the show.

C (almost back at the room): My favorite was the Cool Girls. They were really cool.
F: They were my favorite, too, Cory. They were really cool, right, Daddy?
D: They were pretty cool.

But not as cool as a certain little Canadian swayer, to whom Daddy will be eternally grateful, for kicking away off to the side. Daddy falls asleep hoping she ignored the waving, stayed out of line, and launched that chair (safely) into the crowd…

Spring Break Adventure No. 38: Rum, Coke, and Cancun

Out of country during season premiere. Deep breath.

Not working. Still out of country during season premiere. Child’s pose.

Still not working. How could I be out of the country during the season premiere? Pull ocean fresh air through third eye down past every shakra. (That’s a thing, right?)

Still not working. Time to turn to the three best distractions in the world.

Papa, Cory, and Fisher, of course, Papa, Cory, and Fisher. Um, what else could they be?

There. All better.