IntrepidWoman's Journey

“It’s Not a Race.”

Posted on: October 25, 2010

Two days with Jack is more precious than gold. He brought his own pillow, his stuffed monkey and his sweet smile. After sleeping in the car for 2 hours on the way, we got to stay up later than usual on Friday night to talk, cuddle on the couch, watch Tree House programs on the telly and prepare a grocery list for Saturday which included strawberry gum, Honey Nut Cheerios and pumpkin pie “because it is close to Halloween.”

We talked about his fireman outfit for trick or treating. Because he is so young I asked him what happens when we dress up and go to people’s houses on Halloween, not sure if he remembered last year. Jack replied, “We give them our candy.” I remember Michael taking candy out of his basket two years ago and handing it to the lady at a house after she had given him some. There are good people raising my grandkids!

We rearranged my living room. Jack wanted the little school desk moved to a different location to become his space ship and we opened the sea chest that I use as a coffee table to pull out all the stuffed toys, Fisher Price dinosaurs, books and other treasures I keep in there.

After a sleep-in until 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jack and I headed out to shop, stopping at the barn first to see if the little filly was out and about. She was nowhere in sight as I drove up, and Jack asked if he had to get out of the car. I said no, remembering the last time a herd of very-large breed pups wanted to eat him up with joy and that scared him a bit. He did like seeing all the horses, and one wearing a blanket was immediately identified by him as a race horse.

Then we stopped at the Chinook honey farm to see the queen and her court behind glass, sample some different honey flavours and make some purchases. Jack likes the little plastic bears that squeeze out honey for his toast, so I got him one to take home.

On the way to town I told Jack that he could pick out a toy at the store and asked what he would like. Without hesitation he said he would like a remote-control truck. Down the very first isle, there it was – a remote control long distance transport truck that made backing-up, beeping sounds and other motor noises. The rest of the visit found that truck and the controller within inches of Jack at all times, even tucked in next to him in bed the second night.

The rest of the day was filled with MacDonald’s, the playground, a hotdog and movie purchase at Costco, bedtime stories and then I tucked him into fleece sheets. He was like a little bear cub, all curled up with blankets right under his chin, barely moving all night as he soundly slept.

(While eating his hotdog, I cautioned him about slowing down and chewing more between bites. This came back to bite me later.)

His one concern this visit was “Sara.” “Where is Sara? Is she going to jump on me? I don’t want her to scare me. Can you look first Nana?” He was referring to Sierra, the beautiful golden retriever who lives on the ranch and is a friendly, affectionate dog. Of course to Jack, she is monstrously large and jumping up is a scary attack. I managed to grab her each time so Jack could head to the car and get in before Sierra could assault him with ‘love’.

This morning he requested pancakes for breakfast, then had a bubbly play bath before we headed to Playtopia. If you have never been, it is heaven to a child who likes to climb, slide, roll, stretch, speed, run, jump, bounce, hop and sweat! Jack goes non-stop in that place with a few quick breaks for water.

No soft drinks this visit, just juice and milk and a chosen treat today at Playtopia of Smarties. Jack counted them out, ate them one at a time, asking how many were left and then re-counting them as each one disappeared. He really knows how to make a chocolate treat last a very long and satisfying time!

The drive to Claresholm to meet mom and dad started and ended sound asleep. Jack had worn himself out at Playtopia. I turned the rear view mirror so I could look at his sweet, sleeping expressions during the trip.

He was very happy to see mom and dad and we went into a restaurant to eat before heading to our respective homes, each an hour away in opposite directions. Jack had lots to say and was the last to finish his food. When told to eat up because everyone else was done and it was time to go, he stated, “It’s not a race.”  This was said very seriously and with total eye contact. Oops.

Parting was not happy as Jack realized I was not going with him. He cried and said, “I want my Nana!” When tears run down those dear little cheeks, it takes everything in me not to sweep him up into my arms and never let him go. We had our hugs and I blew him kisses as he cried from his car seat. I am sure he was fine within minutes, but it took me longer to recover. I came home to a very quiet basement suite with precious memories to keep me warm until our next visit.

There is new meaning to the expression, “If I’d known grandchildren would be so much fun, I would have had them first.”

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