Back in May, we bought a bunch of “opportunity drawing” tickets (for some dang reason organizations don’t call them raffle tickets, but that’s what they are) at the Art & Literature Fair at Laura’s school, which drawing served the dual purpose of being a fundraiser for the school and tons-o’-fun for the kids who squirmed in their seats with great anticipation to find out if one of their tickets would be pulled from the drum and what prize they would win. Each time a child’s name was called there were squeals of delight from the winning child and his or her friends, and a few disappointed moans from some of the other children mixed in for good measure. Laura’s friend August sat next to her and they were both visibly excited. Laura’s name was called three times that evening! First she won a science-y kind of kit which contained various parts for building electrical gizmos. This prize was just up her alley, and I’m not being sarcastic in the least; she’s thrilled with anything of the math or science genres. Then Laura won a chess set with football-player figures for pieces. This is also just up her alley. Laura loved chess club at school last year, despite having been (or maybe because she was) the youngest and one of the only two girls in the club. Plus Laura and her dad play chess almost daily, and the football-player pieces make it a two-fer for him because it would be an understatement to say that Tom looooooooooooves football. (Note to Readers: Expect a blog in early September lamenting the onset of the Seasonal Football Widow Syndrome from which I have suffered for so many months, for so many years, without fail, and will undoubtedly continue to suffer in the years to come, forever and ever, Amen.) Finally, Laura won a $10 gift card from California Pizza Kitchen. August sat by and proved himself to be of the gracious sort who cheered for others and showed no signs of begrudging each of Laura’s wins, despite that the drawing ended without a single ticket with his name having been pulled from the drum. Laura apparently decided that her CPK certificate was the most readily divisible of her prizes and so she told August that she would share it with him since he didn’t win anything. It was determined by August’s and Laura’s female parental units that a play date would be scheduled during the summer which would include a meal at CPK so that Laura could share her gift card.
Summer soon arrived full of possibilities and prospects, many of which came to be and others which had to be put on hold for a time while Laura recovered from the various illnesses that took unusual hold of her typically healthy self. There were trips to museums, amusement parks, and zoos. There were hula classes, piano lessons, a week at space and rocketry day camp, and swim-team practices. (Perhaps there will be more details on summer fun in a later blog.) Meanwhile, between vacation schedules, day camp schedules, and time out for Laura to get well, the California Pizza Kitchen play date was temporarily put on hold much to Laura’s dismay. Last Friday, however, after a brief visit to Laura’s amazing pediatrician, she got a clean bill of health. Ears: clear. Temperature: 98.6º. Contagious conditions: none. I called Augusts’ mom on the off-chance that he might be available that afternoon for a spontaneous trip for pizza and he was! Laura was overjoyed, to say the least. We gathered her CPK gift card and picked up August at the appointed hour. First let me tell you that this classy little dude arrived with flowers! Laura was delighted and commented that the only time anyone had given her flowers until then was her dad, which he does bring her from time-to-time when he brings them for me. We operate an equal opportunity household when it comes to flower giving. Then it was off to CPK. August and Laura got on famously, chatting and cracking each other up all the way to the restaurant. We arrived in good order and it was pizza for August and pasta for Laura. August ate every bite of his pizza, including the crust, which he pronounced was his favorite part. Laura was thrilled when the check came. She turned over the gift card to our sweet server who listened graciously as Laura explained that she won the gift card and was sharing it with August. Then Laura got to sign her own little receipt and keep the value-depleted gift card.
Now it was on the way back to our house, where Laura and August were to continue their play date after approval was given from the parental units to carry on, that the fun stuff began. Although Laura has been betrothed to Matthew for years, loves Henry dearly and looks forward to him being her brother-in-law when he marries Jonathan, and has a serious crush on Brent (developed during the Kindergarten class play when they were cast as King & Queen Neptune), she just may have found her soul mate in August. Of course August is cute and sweet and smart and funny (she always picks boyfriends with these important traits, traits she appreciates because her beloved dad has all of them), but they connected on a deeper, more spiritual level. They discovered this connection when Laura told August that she named her Betta fish Napoleon and Deb. August giggled and said he liked that movie. Laura’s eyes lit up (as did her mom’s, I’m not gonna lie) and Laura said that she liked that movie too. Then something happened that I’ve never seen any of Laura’s little dude friends do when Laura starts rattling off quotes from Napoleon Dynamite: August matched her quote for quote.
Laura: “Tina, you fat lard.”
August: “Tina, come get some ham.”
[Pause for laughter.]
Laura: “I caught you a delicious bass.”
August: “Give me some of your tots.”
Laura: “Do the chickens have large talons?”
August: “But my lips hurt real bad.”
[More laughter, then I was able to contain myself long enough to get the car off of the sidewalk and back onto the road.]
Laura: “Do you have a VOTE FOR PEDRO shirt?”
Laura: “Oh. I have one of those. And a green shirt that says, ‘Shocks, Pegs, Lucky.’”
Laura: “I’m either going to be Napoleon Dynamite or Deb for Halloween.”
August: “I saw a remote-controlled Napoleon doll at the store. I think it was at Wal-Mart. I wish I had one. Napoleon had a wire and he walked, but the wire wasn’t connected to the remote, and the remote worked him like the remote-controlled race car that I have.”
Laura: “Most kids get a stuffed rabbit in their Easter baskets. Guess what I got in my Easter basket? I got a stuffed Napoleon doll and when you press his hand he says stuff like, ‘Can I use your guys’s phone for a sec?’ and ‘Plus you’re like the only guy at school with a moustache.’”