The Quest for a Pacifier
Yesterday on my walk in Waikiki, I heard a female’s voice behind me: “Coming around on your left side.” In a flash, a woman ran past me. No runner has ever cautioned me before. What welcomed courtesy! At my age in particular, falling down is taboo, a hazard that I inadvertently fell prey to on Father’s Day. But I was richly awarded for my faux pas.
Just after my wife and I, along with our dear friend and her toddler, got situated at a Japanese restaurant, the two-year-old emphatically wanted his pacifier. Unfortunately, his mother had evidently forgotten to pack it. I volunteered to buy one at Ross’s, a nearby catch-all store on Seaside Avenue. I figured that I’d return in time to marvel at our server’s knife pyrotechnics.
I thought I knew exactly where Ross’s was located, but I unaccountably took a few wrong turns before finally getting there. While rushing about on my circuitous route, I got so flustered that I tripped on the sidewalk, bloodying my knee and wrenching my back. Undeterred, I reached Ross’s, grabbed onto a set of pacifiers and uneventfully returned to the restaurant. Just before entering, I noticed a forlorn pacifier on the ground. How ironic, especially if it was the one that perhaps had slipped out of the toddler’s diaper bag in the first place. Nonetheless, I lurched into the restaurant with a new pacifier—just in time to placate the unhappy two-year old. His overjoyed mother called me a hero, despite my time-consuming missteps.
As it turned out, my tumbling onto the sidewalk was pretty harmless, just a mere boo-boo, although I could have broken my hip while performing a good deed.
In fact, I got a lot of mileage out of my scraped knee. After the meal, the toddler was so fascinated with my blood-crusted scab that he touched it and sorrowfully repeated the word “boo-boo,” the first time that I had heard him use that expression. His concern for me was a touching reminder that there are sweet moments in the throes of the terrible twos.