The weekend began with a road trip to Columbus. The first good omen showed itself outside of Lancaster:
If you can’t see it, the license plate says Crunk 88 and it’s on an Elantra. The driver was about 16-years-old, with brown hair in curls big enough to form a small afro. He had the type of mustache 16-year-olds have, which is to say none, and he looked to weigh about 74 pounds.
It started raining, however, just outside of Columbus, and I, being the lazy bastard that I am, began to grow nervous because my tires haven’t been changed since Bush’s first term and I hydroplaned through much of Ohio 32 or 33, whichever it is.
Alas, we made it safely to my sister’s and I dropped Kyan off for his Saturday zoo adventure. I GPSed my way to Jessica’s and we met some friends for some drinks.
The subject of Appalachia somehow came up and I, being the expert on all things Appalachia, unfortunately had to share my latest experience: I was stopped at a stop light near a used car lot in Harmar. To my left, an overweight man nearing middle age and wearing no shirt was shaving his head near a pop machine (we say pop here, not soda). I surmised that the soda machine had the only outside electric outlet. Again unfortunately, this story was overheard by several near us and this then became a topic of wonderment for many. For me, not so much. I was wounded. I love my kinfolk.
The rest of the evening went by somewhat uneventfully, fortunately.
The next day Jessica and I rode our bikes through much of Clintonville and made preparations for our Inaugural Meet-Kyan-athon Party Picnic at Goodale Park.
Ky met us at the park with my sister, who said he had so much fun he was like a pinpall, bouncing around from animal to animal.
We made hummus and guacamole and ate tofu wraps and pasta salad. We drank wine and cherry saki out of plastic cups. We lived the life of bourgeois hobos. Jessica’s dog, Olive, a boston terrier, tried to eat every other dog in the park. We played soccer and threw frisbees, shaked the trees till all the helicopters flew over our heads and onto the ground. We colored pictures and played on the playground.
Kyan was , of course, the life of the party, doing his slow motion running and fighting, dramatic freestyle falling, making silly faces and asking everyone to read him comics. I learned later a friend told him he had the coolest dad ever. I felt a certain pride, to be sure, but I tend to feel the opposite: That I have the coolest son ever.
We made it back to Jess’ apartment around 7 or 7:30 and inflated the blow-up mattress in the only available space in her apartment. I brought a fort-making kit and we arranged camo cover over his bed.
The next morning we watched the Incredibles and made it to vegan brunch at Whole World by 10:30-ish.
Jess and I had the big breakfast: Tofu scramble, homestyle fries, vegan sausage, black bread and coffee with soy. Ky had a vegan pancake and a biscuit with butter. He ate the pancakes by hand, dipping each piece into the syrup and watching as the syrup slowly cascaded back into its cup. It was all about timing, he said. Jess tried a piece and realized it was harder than it looked.
We told Ky we were going to get vegan cupcakes later and his eyes grew bigger than the uneaten pancake. We told him this would happen only if he ate all his food, which he did, but not before the stimulation of the weekend caught up with him.
He squeezed his temples and uttered these immortal words: “My brain can’t control itself.” I’m sure the rest of the restaurant looked around at us as we laughed harder than any grown adult should otherwise laugh at a five-year-old.
A few seconds later he said, “I’m gonna get my belly full.” Then he finished his pancake and proclaimed he was done. He hesitated, eyeing his biscuit, “Well, after I finish my biscuit.” Once completed, he lifted his shirt and said, “My belly’s so full I could have a baby in it.” I can’t make this up.
A few hours later, after running some errands, we picked up our cupcakes. Kyan picked out the chocolate on chocolate. We got home and sat up shop to eat it. Kyan looked at the cupcake, his little legs barely reaching the edge of the couch, and said, “Hmm, delicious and nutritious.” More laughter ensued.
He took a few bites and asked for water, chugging my entire Sugg bottle down in one drink.
“You drink a lot of water,” Jess said. “You could win the Water Drinking Contest.”
“Yea, that’s who I’m gonna be, The Water Drinking Contest Guy. Now raise your hands if you drink a lot of water.”
Jess and I’s hands go up.
“Nope, just me. Cause I drink a lot of water.”
Shortly after, he uttered the words I never thought I’d hear him say, “I don’t want any more; there’s too much chocolate.”
It began to seep in on the ride home that perhaps Kyan was right at breakfast. Sometimes there’s too much fun, too much beauty, too much goodness in the world for my brain to comprehend it. And yet in moments like this, moments filled with vegan cupcakes and laughter, good friends and parks, dogs and forts, there really can’t be too much of a good thing.