Sunday, March 21, 2010

Delight in the Daily

"Life is Just So Daily." --Mary Engelbreit calendar

The seconds roll into minutes, the minutes add up to hours. . .you know the routine. Sometimes life seems to laboriously plod along with little variance. Uneventful. Predictable. There are no tragedies; neither are there high-fives or fist-bumps. It's just so daily. But it's in the daily that delight occurs. It's in the ordinary that the extraordinary is experienced. If I can only be happy if I win an exotic sailing trip for two to St. Lucia, this is going to be a very, very long, yawn-inducing life.

It's been another very daily week. I went to work. After work, I vegetated in front of the TV more than I should have. In spite of my doctor's cholesterol concerns for me I had a few $.89 Five-layered Beef Burritos. I had the car in for repairs. And it was a grandson's sixth birthday. His mom/my daughter had planned a party , the focal point being laser-tag. Whatever. I was sure the kids would have fun. However he and his mom/my daughter informed me and insisted that I would be a participant. End of what was supposed to be a discussion. All week long if we talked on the phone he'd threaten me, "You're goin' down." Yeh, right. I've never seen, much less played, laser tag, but I viewed it as a few midgets taking me on in a basketball scrimmage; this was going to be a slam-dunk. Sorry to ruin your birthday party, little fella.

We played 2 twenty minute "battles." For the uninitiated, each person wears a cumbersome vest, that on a six year old droops down to his ankles. There are flashing lights on the shoulders, torso and back of the vest. Each person has a laser-gun and if you shoot and your beam of light hits one of those targets that's a "hit" and the victim's own gun is silenced for 5 seconds. Everyone's score is tallied up by computer throughout the carnage--number of hits inflicted, hits incurred, total number of shots fired. The barometric pressure was the only item omitted on the spreadsheet.

The first battle transpires and I didn't even see him the entire time. There were maybe twenty others but it's not like we're roaming the streets of Tokyo trying to find each other. We got our tally sheets and I have a sizable number of people whom I "hit." As did he. Each of us has a "name" we've chosen. He is Cat Boy (his mom previously played as Cat Woman.) Sleek, stealthy, cunning. I was given the name, Goofy. Go figure.

We engage in a second and final battle, and he must have realized he had gotten sidetracked from his intended mission. I had not even left the "waiting room" to enter the battle territory and the door opened and he shot me twice before I stepped on to the field of battle. I entered and, this time, I had no trouble locating him. For twenty minutes he shadowed me up and down corridors, through winding hallways. He was never more than two feet from me. He'd shoot, my laser gun would die for five seconds and boot up, and he then immediately shot me again. For twenty minutes. The other midgets didn't matter. I alone was his concern, his "Papa' in the cross-hairs. At the end we were given our spreadsheets for this battle. Everyone else has all sort of names and numbers in their list of people they "hit." His sheet lists only one--Goofy.

He was right. I went down. It was so satisfying to see how hilarious he thought it was that I couldn't escape him. To see him belly-laugh at my feigned frustration (well, some of it was an act) of getting "hit' non-stop. Cat Boy pounced all over Goofy.

We went back to their house for what I assumed would be peace and quiet. He and two of his cousins were downstairs in the playroom and I was asked to come down under the guise of a light fixture needing repaired. The three jumped me. I went down. (do you sense a theme here?) I spent the next hour in a fetal position protecting indispensable body parts, while they practiced flying drop-kicks, lunges, and soaring leaps on me. We wrestled and wrangled until I had no sensations anywhere, indispensable or not. They laughed, I moaned and we had a great time.

The day came and it went. They all do. But there was extraordinary laughter and joy pulsating throughout this ordinary day. If I had groused about it and went into it with an attitude that this is kids' stuff and let the adults be adults and the kids be kids I and my grand kids would have no stories to tell, no memories to cherish.

I'm glad my grandson extended the challenge and I'm glad he was right. I wouldn't have missed goin' down for anything on this ordinary day.

You can bet I'll be watching 24 and getting some lessons from Jack Bauer. Actually, I bet I could teach him a thing or two. I've never, ever seen him take on a six year old.

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