I went back to Kansas City this past weekend for some family time — which culminated in a multi-generational water gun fight and barbecue on Sunday.
Although I didn’t get to see any of my usual crew, (my KC boys that I affectionately refer to as “The Crew”), I spent a generous amount of time with a lot of my relatives.
My cousin, Kynisha, and her fiancé, William, are getting ready to have their third child together. If you recall, Kynisha is the mother of my two Godchildren, Kamori, 7, and Kimora, 5. So, with a new kid about to enter the picture, I figured it was a good weekend for us to have one of our adventures — especially before this new, adorable and slobbery bundle of joy begins to impede.
I had my cousin email me some coupons to one of the finest and most exclusive children’s entertainment/pizza locales of our time, Chuck E. Cheese, and while we waited, the kids showed me their new stuff — including a Foosball table.
After being hustled by my Godson on that table, (he cheated, I don’t care what anyone says), the email came through and we hit the road.
Since I don’t see them as often as I used to when I lived in town, I got curious and decided to interview them, on the way to “Cool Chuck’s Palace of Tickets and Tokens”, to see how current they were on my life.
They knew I lived away from them — 241 miles to be exact — but they didn’t really comprehend how far that was. I also explained to them that I moved to take my job and that as I was a reporter. They still weren’t quite sure what I did, so I summarized and heavily condensed it for them: “I write things and put them in the newspaper. I also take pictures and talk to people. Doesn’t that sound fun?”
My Godson, probably still brimming from his ill gotten Foosball victory, shook his head and verbally said, “No.”
He cheats at fake soccer, therefore, his opinion doesn’t count. I knew that my adorable little princess would take my side, so I asked her.
“No. I like going to Worlds of Fun (a Kansas City amusement park),” she said.
“Well, they are pretty fun,” I said referring to the park as if it was a person for some reason. “Well, how come y’all don’t think what I do sounds fun?”
“I can get on the big rides now,” she said.
“No she can’t,” her brother answered.
Clearly, my attempt to impress these children with how cool my job is was failing. Since all of a sudden they were the experts in all things fun and cool in the workplace, I asked them, “What can we do to make my job more fun? Give me some ideas to bring back to my bosses.”
“I know,” Kimora said with a big smile on her face that falsely gave me hope. “Be a firefighter.”
Her rationale was because they put fires out and because they are heroes. Her brother agreed. I tried to save face by pointing out that I get to work with firefighters a lot — they still weren’t impressed.
In an effort to change the subject of the interview, things were getting testy; I asked them about the new baby. They both agreed that they are feeling good about his impending arrival. Kamori even shared another reason as to why he’s excited.
“So I won’t have to deal with her,” he said with a head gesture towards his little sister.
I got a good laugh out of that, and asked Kimora what she plans on doing when she becomes a big sister. She said she plans on holding and kissing the baby, but that she’s not planning on changing diapers.
We did a few more questions and answers and then finally, we arrived at Chuck E. Cheese. As we walked in, my wallet seemed to empty itself out and my greenbacks were replaced with these brass colored pieces of currency with a mouse’s face embedded on them.
Loaded down with this new form of “legal tender”, we began to walk towards a table so I could divvy each of them out a healthy cupful of coinage. On the way to our seats, I noticed I was exchanging two types of looks: there was the subtle head nod of approval from all the other “dads” and then there were the toothy smiles I was receiving from the young women that were present.
Both looks were reciprocated, of course.
After two hours, we were out of tokens, my Godson and I had destroyed a robot army playing “Termination Salvation (Arcade Game)” and my Goddaughter had given me a personal collection of trading cards — each with a different facial expression — of her.
We traded in our hard earned tickets, took our prizes (with the money I spent on tokens we could’ve gotten prizes that were actually good) and went to get some ice cream.
I hate that I don’t get to see those two as often as I used to but I always try to make the most of the time I do get with them — even if they don’t think my job is “fun.” Once the new baby gets here, he’ll be invited to join in, (once he’s potty trained) and I can only imagine what those adventures in “Godfather-ism” will be like.
Senior staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 6532, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.