My boys.

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My two oldest “Reasons for Fighting” spent the night with me on Friday. Kristy brought Ethan and Lance to the office.  After work the three of us headed to Costco to pick up a few things. I loaded the cart with the items on my list but my mind was a little pre-occupied. Lance ran ahead and wanted to sample the food items.  A grin on his face and  his tongue dangling like a panting puppy dog he asked permission to do so. I nodded yes giving both boys my approval. I cautioned Lance; the first one he touched is the one he must take. Ethan declined a sample. Guess what food they are promoting? Licorice! Of course sugar, Lance’s favorite food!

Ethan is a first year violin student and he brought his violin to play for me. My side of the family loves music. I am not musical at all and I am pleased that he has shown an interest.  I missed his orchestra performance a month ago. He entertained me Friday night and Saturday as well as he played song after song on his violin.

Both boys requested maple-glazed bacon for breakfast. Lance wanted homemade waffles to accompany his bacon and Ethan asked for Quiche Lorraine. Each of them expressed a desire for tortellini soup for lunch. I had made the soup the weekend before in anticipation of their overnight visit. I only had to retrieve it from the freezer and add the cheese tortellini.

Ethan is always curious to learn how to cook. He asked to be awakened in the morning before I started making the quiche so he could observe. My grandsons asked what made the bacon taste so good. I smiled and said, “It is an old Chinese secret (it really isn’t, just makes the story better)! I add some grey Poupon mustard to maple syrup then glaze the bacon and bake it in the oven.” Ethan exclaims, “Ewww, Grandma, that does not sound good; adding ‘poop-on’ mustard.” Oh how I laughed! I told the boys it was not ‘Poop-On’ but Poupon. We practiced saying pou-pon dragging out the ‘pou’ with the emphasis on ‘pon’ giggling the whole time. They will never forget that ingredient in Grandma’s sweet bacon.

We baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies and the three of us huddled closely together on the sofa watching a movie. Ethan and I snuggled under the red throw and Lance buried himself under his blanket ‘Greenie’.  Ethan said I needed to get a bigger couch although both boys like their small bodies pressed against mine when we sit together. We told stories, shared about our week and giggled. It was snuggle time with my boys.

Greenie is a green and (once) white fleece blanket that my sister in law, Leah made for Ethan when he was a baby. All of my grandchildren with the exception of Ethan have a relationship with their ‘blankies’. Since Ethan did not have any emotional attachment to the blanket and Lance did he willingly gave it to his younger brother. Lance pounced on it and claimed it as his personal friend. He gave the name ‘Greenie’ to his inherited blanket.

Last year I drove Todd’s family to the airport. They were going on vacation to Disneyland. When I arrived Kristy had their suitcases and backpacks neatly lined up in the living room.  Lance came downstairs excited to go clutching Greenie tightly in his arms. Kristy told him that he had to leave the blanket at home this time. His little eyes welled up with tears and he asked why. His mother explained that he had left his blanket on numerous occasions at various places.  If my memory is correct once it had to be shipped home to Boise from Portland. She informed Lance if he took the blanket he would be solely responsible for it on the plane, in the taxi and at the hotel. If he lost it, Greenie would be gone forever. She asked him if he was prepared for that. Lance looked at me hoping I would interject. I thought, ‘Lance, I cannot get in the middle of this. You need to listen to your mom.’ I remained silent until Lance looked at me with quivering lips and tear filled eyes and asks, “Grammy, will you keep Greenie with you and take care of him while I am away?” I assured him I would. He makes one more statement, “Grammy, you can wash Greenie while I am gone but will you bring him with you to the airport when you pick us up?” I smiled. He gave me permission to wash his blanket. Lance does not really like his blanket washed.  It is dingy and no longer white and green but a pasty grey. I smile. ‘Grungy’ would now be a more appropriate name for his beloved blanket.

A week later I picked them up at the airport with Greenie freshly washed and neatly folded on the back seat of my car. The family was hurriedly trying to get into my car when Lance spied Greenie. He scooped up his blanket, inhaled deeply as he buried his face into it exclaiming, “Oh Greenie, I missed you so much.” The rest of us just laughed. Grandma’s hug from Lance that day was not quite as fierce or tight as the one Greenie received.

These are some of the special moments that I store in the in my heart’s warehouse of treasured memories.

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