No Joke

I always tell the boys they can’t say “everything” when I ask what their favorite part of a trip was. I tell them it’s the same as saying “nothing.” But here I am, newly returned from Hawaii, and if you ask me what my favorite part was, I’d say, “Everything.” Every moment. Every memory. They were all my favorite.

Up until the trip, I kept saying we shouldn’t count our chickens until they hatched, with all the things that could go wrong: airline strikes, fuel prices, the threat of nuclear war, a sore throat. It wasn’t until the plane’s wheels left the runway that I told the boys, “Okay, it’s time. We can count our chickens!”

Coincidentally, the first thing we saw when we left the airport in Kauai was a rooster, standing on the side of the freeway. We laughed about the absurdity it. A rooster! Just hanging out in Hawaii!


But then we saw another…and another…and another. Roosters, everywhere, standing on alert, one foot in the air, ready to go. Roosters scratching for grubs. Roosters running full-tilt beside our car, like they were trying to catch a train.



Chickens, too, and baby chicks. Dozens upon dozens of them.


Apparently some domestic chickens got set loose by hurricanes in the 80s and 90s, mated with wild red jungle fowl, and boom!





(Whoops—the last one is not a rooster. It is Rocco’s hair, after a week of saltwater, sunblock, and forgotten showers.)

I had planned an April Fool’s joke not knowing about the island’s feral chickens, but that only made it better. I made square hard-boiled eggs with molds I brought from home, and I told the boys that the reason there are so many chickens here is because they lay square eggs that don’t roll away.


They didn’t buy it.

Leo, at least, was open to the idea, but Rocco remembered that I used to make those when he was, like two years old, and Rocco is not the type to forget anything ever. Well, except he did forget one thing, which I’m getting to.

I made the eggs on April 3rd, as we were in a hotel on the 1st, but I explained that in Hawaii they celebrate April Fool’s Day on the third because of island time. That one they bought.

Then on April 6th, I told the boys to wish me happy birthday.  “April Fool’s!” they said, totally onto me. I continued to insist it was my birthday, much in the same manner I continued to insist Hawaii’s chickens lay square eggs. It wasn’t until they saw me type my birthday into the kiosk at the airport that they realized I wasn’t joking. The look of surprise and guilt on their faces was absolutely worth the forgetting.

We spent the entirety of my birthday at airports and on airplanes, losing three hours of it to time zones and coming home with only enough time to brush our teeth before forgetting it was my birthday one last time. It wasn’t much of a birthday, but as I had just spent a week counting my chickens in Hawaii (hundreds of them. Thousands of them!), I was in no position to complain.


Stay tuned…more to come!

Potato leek soup
Crusty bread

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