My grandchildren, Kile, age nine, and Cavanaugh, age six spent last Friday with me. They had the day off from school and Mommy and Daddy were at work. The clatter of bowls and spoons signaled me they were hungry as they set the table for breakfast. The freezer drawer slammed shut and the crinkle of the plastic bag of frozen blueberries was mixed with the bang of the pantry door. Rolled oats, ground cinnamon, yogurt and nuts were lined up with containers of cold cereal. Each child created their usual combination and within minutes gobbled every bite. Dishes were nestled in the dishwasher with anticipation of the morning events.
After a quick brush of their teeth, the game closet door was flung open. “Perler Bead time,” Cavanaugh remarked as she peered into the disarray of papers, boxes and games. “Grammie, can you find the beads?” The soft, sincere voice prompted me to dig for the treasure. I pulled the re-purposed relish container, now filled with colorful, tiny plastic cylinders, with care out of the hiding place. Cavanaugh squealed as she scampered into the front room ahead of me. I took an extra minute, sorted puzzle boxes until I found the map of the USA puzzle, and carried it along with the plastic craft. Cavanaugh chose the colored beads and began the process of creating her intricate design. Kile dumped the box of puzzle pieces and sorted out familiar states.
The house was quiet with only the sound of an occasional “Grammie, look at this,” or “Grammie, are you going to help me?” Each child was engrossed in a project, while I observed the creativity exhibited by them. Cavanaugh glanced at the clock. “Kile, what would you be doing now if we were at school?” Finger on his chin, Kile replied, “It’s Friday. That is special class day so we would have art.”
“Let’s pretend this is school today. I am having art class with my beads.” Cavanaugh beamed as she finished a plastic bracelet. “And Kile is having Social Studies with his puzzle,” I chimed in.
The quiet spell was broken as the two youngsters planned the rest of the morning. “After art we can do music, then recess, then…” the immature voices plotted the changes in class schedules.
Kile finished his puzzle and announced “Time for Guidance.” A devotional for small children provided the perfect lesson on the Golden Rule. As the two snuggled close for the sharing, I knew this would be my favorite time today. Paper bag puppets were created with snips of yarn, markers, glue and buttons to aid in acting out the lesson.
I was stirring a pot on the stove while the two of them donned jackets and raced outside for recess. A Frisbee, dug out the box of outdoor toys provided the entertainment. Soon a lively game of Frisbee toss was in session. “Oh, almost,” Kile exclaimed as the spinning disc bounced off the tips of Cavanaugh’s fingers. Bang! The saucer hit the side of the building near their play area as Cavanaugh threw it back to Kile. Both broke into a fit of giggles. My heart warmed as I watched brother and sister play a game of catch, words of encouragement to the other flew with each toss.
“Grammie, do you have divided trays for our lunch,” Cavanaugh questioned me in between turns. It sounded more like a wish than an actual question. I disappeared into the house while they continued their game and retrieved two trays stored in the basement. I washed them, dried them, and set them out for lunch time.
Their clear blue eyes danced with excitement when recess was over and the pair of siblings discovered the rectangular meal trays on the kitchen counter. “Just like the ones we use at school,” Kile exclaimed as he chose the top one. The silverware drawer slid open and each child grabbed a spoon and a fork. “Do you have a napkin, too?” as the clink of utensils met the plastic slot in their trays.
Sliced peaches, applesauce, peanut butter/jelly sandwiches and a glass of ice cold milk filled the remaining sections of the tray. Kile and Cavanaugh proudly carried the tray to the table and after a quick prayer, devoured every bite. “This is just like at school!”
“Time for reading, forty –five minutes of quiet reading,” Kile announced as he searched for material. I handed him my electronic book device and gave him permission to download the story he was currently enjoying at home. Cavanaugh found some Bible books and asked if she could read to me in my chair. Kile was engrossed in the latest mythology book when Cavanaugh curled up on my lap and drifted off to dreamland.
“Grammie, can I do work to earn money,” Kile inquired when reading was over. While his sister slept, he helped me with dishes, swept the floor and shined the appliances. “I’m saving money to buy a 3D DS,” he smiled as he completed each chore.
“Why do they name hurricanes,” he enquired as he wiped the enamel of the oven door. “What happened during Hurricane Katrina?”
“Shall we go find some information on the internet,” I asked.
A quick search led us to the sight with a time line of Hurricane Katrina. From there we found a You Tube video. A few “wows” and “awesome” was his reaction as he learned about the hurricane that hit the U.S. when he was two years of age.
Sleepy-eyed Cavanaugh joined us and snuggled in my lap as she struggled to keep her eyes open.
“Shall we bake a sugar cookie,” I asked and suddenly she was wide awake. We rolled out the chilled dough on a cotton cloth and created one giant cookie. As it baked, we stirred the frosting, divided it in four bowls and vibrant colors stirred into the sweet confection. After the cookie was decorated, Cavanaugh returned to Perler Bead designing and Kile cashed his screen time allotment in for some time on the Wii gaming system.
Five o’clock came quickly and Mom arrived to take them home.
“This was a great day at school, Grammie. Can we do this again?”
“Absolutely, I can’t wait until the next time you come to spend the day with me.”