After work on Friday I drove to the daycare to pick up Maxton and Carter. They were spending the night with me while their parents were attending a seminar in Boise. I was excited to have them. I showed my identification to the daycare providers and they called Maxton and Carter out into the hall. Both boys came running to me full throttle. I knelt to receive my hugs and kisses from them. I am not sure who was more excited, the boys or me.
We came home and I prepared dinner for us. Carter and Maxton wanted bacon and waffles. Hmmm bacon and waffles two weekends in a row. Carter loves to help in the kitchen. I always placed my own children upon the kitchen counter and I have continued to do that with each of my grandchildren. I sat Carter on the kitchen counter far enough away so he would not be burned but close enough that he could see all that I was preparing. He was directing my cooking and giving me orders like ‘put da lid on it, Ga-Ma’. He was referring to the splatter guard over the bacon. You can tell Carter is with his mother in the kitchen often. While Carter and I cooked, Maxton volunteered to set our places at the bar. He too was giving me directives; ‘you sit right here, Ga-Ma’. He positioned my place setting in the middle so both boys would be able to sit beside me. The three of us sat at the bar eating waffles dripping with maple syrup and sharing about our day.
After dinner we settled in to watch Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who movie. Later in the evening I was sitting in the wingback chair. Carter, who is only two lay on the carpet. His back was to the warmth of the fireplace and he was facing my chair. He looked at me with those great big eyes saying, “Cover me, blankie, Ga-Ma”. I covered him with the blue blanket Grandma Goodson had knit for him and patted his bottom. Again he speaks to me, “Dat make me happy.” I told him, he makes me happy too.
Carter’s eyes tell the story; he is ready for bed. I gently ask, “Are you ready for bed, Carter bug?” “No!” he exclaimed vehemently. “You din not set the ti-ma.” I had forgotten. Paige and Michael set the timer before bedtime. Once it goes off Carter knows it is time for bed. I set the timer for 10 minutes and when the buzzer sounded Carter wanted to ‘push the button’ to shut it off . He was ready for bed. I tucked him into bed, gave him a goodnight kiss and quietly closed his door.
Maxton was watching a second movie on the iPad. I told him I was extending his bedtime but I cautioned him to remain quiet so Carter could sleep. Max was in no hurry for bed.
I had been given a chemo treatment of Herceptin earlier in the afternoon and I was starting to fade. One half hour later my promise of letting Maxton stay up longer was going to be broken by me. Yawning I approached him and said, “Come on Sweetie time for us to go to bed.” The reaction I got from him was not what I expected. Max has always been the easiest of my grandsons to put down for bed. Friday night he is running from me yelling, “No, no I don’t want to go to bed!” I sternly scolded him for the tone of his voice and also for his loudness. I threatened to spank his bottom if that behavior continued. I knelt before him on the carpet and asked, “Max, why are you acting like this?” With his head looking down he did not answer me. He shrugged his shoulders.
A light bulb went off in his old grandma’s head. Wrapping my arms around him I held him. Stroking his hair I asked if he wanted to sleep with Grandma. That was all it took and that was all he wanted. His demeanor changed instantly.
We crawled into my bed and he lay beside me in the darkened room. He asked, “Grandma, do you want me to sing you a song and tell you a story?” “Yes, Max I would like that very much” I replied. Sometimes he sings songs we both know and other times he makes up his own. That night he sang one of his own creations. His tiny four-year-old voice was soft as he sang in his high pitch voice. Story time was also derived from his own imagination. Friday night’s story was about a big bad wolf and the Avengers. Maxton is quite a storyteller. There are always good guys and bad guys in his stories and of course he is one of the good guys. After he completed singing his song and telling me a story he asked one other question. “Grandma did that make you happy?” In the darkness I reach out to draw him near. Touching him I whispered in his ear, “Yes, Max you always make me happy.”