Our Sunny Valentime (Strategic Spontaneity IV)

Four year old “Sadie” looked forward to this grandpa/grandma/grandchild  date ever since we started the tradition with her oldest sibling last August.  Six months is a long time to make a four-year-old wait.  In fact, she cried a puddle of tears when she learned that her other sister and her cousin (grandchildren #2 and #3) would be in line before her.  We hadn’t considered how difficult the concept of seniority would be for a child.

On our car ride to her house, I tapped my husband on the arm and sighed, “This will make a little girl extremely happy.”

My husband patted my hand and winked.  “And, I think it’ll make Sadie happy, too.”

Grandchild #4 forfeited her favorites for this experience.  She didn’t wear her 12 hour/day, seven days/week pink outfit. She didn’t bring her blankets.  And, she even let her mom wash, brush, and put a barrette in her hair.  This made us feel colossally  important.

The best thing about Sadie? She’s an exuberant conversationalist.

She bit her corndog and pointed like a miniature Vanna White to the red and pink decorations around Culvers.  “Hey! Gwamma, do you know why there’s heawts eveywhere?”

I took a wild guess. “Because they love us?”

“No, sillllly! ” she laughed like it was the best joke ever, “It’s because it’s almost Valentime’s Day!”

As my husband buckled her into her car seat, she pointed out the window, “Hey! Gwampa, what does that water tower do?”

“I’m thinking it holds water.”

“Silly!  It has a super dooper drain so it can go to all our sinks!”

On the way to the Mall of America, “Hey! Let’s sing songs!  I’ll start. Boom chicka, boom chicka…”

On the ferris wheel, “Hey! Sometime can we come here with my flamily?”

Eating ice cream, “Hey! Sanks  for bringing me to the Mall of the Merika.”

On the car ride home, in the middle of an I Spy game, “Hey! Gwamma!”

“Yes, Sadie.”

“When will I die?”

Uurch!  It’s lucky I wasn’t driving.  I might have braked or jerked the car into the next lane.  My husband and I looked at each other. Where did THAT question come from?  Either she assumes her Grandpa’s the crazy driver or she thinks we’re really old.

Me, trying to match her tone of enthusiasm: “I don’t know, Honey.”

Grandpa: “None of us knows when we’re going to die.”


Then Sadie broke into a flamboyant and cheerful song about dying and Jesus and Heaven and friends and “Tree”.  (Tree is her favorite blanket.  It has trees on it.)

“Hey! Can I have Tree in Heaven?”

Me: “Absolutely, Sweetheart! Jesus knows the desires of your heart.  I’m sure you can have Tree and everything you love — all your blankets and more.”

“I would like to have Tree in Heaven. Hey! Can we have food in Heaven? Hey! I would like to have corndogs  and ice cream in Heaven  Hey! And, my flamily?  I would like my flamily to be in Heaven.  Hey! Let’s sing a song. I’ll start.

Boom chicka, boom chicka…”

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