A special time with a grandchild

By Joanne Peterson | May 30, 2013

It’s a Sunday afternoon, and four-year-old grandson Adam and I are amusing one another while his parents run errands and his two-year-old sister Abby sleeps.

Granted, she sleeps only after a number of piteous cries of “No nap! No nap! No nap!”—but then she sleeps soundly for at least two hours.

I planned the trip to West Seattle to stay with the children in order that their parents have opportunity for a long bike ride. I feel as if I am a partner of sorts in their quest for stamina before mid-July’s STP (Seattle-to-Portland) bike ride.  (I am the partner who does NOT ride—as if you needed me to tell you that.)

Unfortunately, after chain-sawing two trees down and into firewood, my son-in-law Eric has to admit his bad back is hurting too much to ride. So off they go to REI and Old Navy.

Adam and I are left to amuse one another. There’s something about one-on-one time with a grandchild that feels all warm and soft. Two grandchildren together are great fun, but one alone is special—and, I’ll admit, often easier.

Adam hauls from my bag the two books I brought him, asking whether I also brought him a car. No. I did not bring a car. Why not? Because I wanted to bring books this time. Why? Because I love to read to my boy.  Oh. OK.

Adam climbs onto my lap, wedges his bony self against me, and we share the two books. He likes them; we read them again. Then I tell him that I actually did bring him One More Thing.

If you aren’t yet aware of this, I shop for sale items, just as my mother did before me and her mother before her—which explains the One More Thing I brought Adam this particular day. It’s an after-Christmas bargain, with a use-by date of May 2013. I bought it in January, knowing I would take it to Adam some rainy spring day. This is the day!

What did I bring? It’s a holiday gingerbread kit, an elaborate project to result in a free-standing, highly-decorated gingerbread locomotive (complete with gingerbread cow-catcher—a concept new to my grandson) and a caboose. Wow!

Adam and I cover the dining table with plastic placemats and empty the Gingerbread Train box, which contains sheets of gingerbread to break apart on indented lines, packages of various-size candy decors and a bag of white frosting, the glue to hold the project together.

Equally fascinated, we open every packet. Adam samples. I read the instructions aloud, repeatedly.  We help each other. Yes, the gingerbread sides of the engine keep falling over, requiring sticky repairs.

Yes, we both have frosting all over our T-shirts. No, when complete, the project doesn’t much resemble the photo on the box.  But it’s perfect! We’re proud! High five!

We hide our gingerbread train in the microwave to show off later. Abby wakes up, rosy and rested. Life is sweet.



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