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Catching More Heart Tugs

It’s time to pull out my folder labeled ‘Heart Tugs’ to remember when heartstrings tighten.  Those times amid the busyness of a day – a brief moment, a single sentence, or an experience that grows fonder as time passes.

            When my Grand was eight years old, she spent a lot of time playing in the dirt.  “See these two worms, Gran? I saved them from the driveway.” she said.  “They really like me, but they can’t live with me so I’m putting them in water and they’ll be happy.”  She put the worms that lay curled in her hand in a mudpuddle and used a stick to stir a smaller mudpuddle.

            “I made chocolate milk.  Want to tase it?” Ruth asked.  I shook my head.  “I did and it’s disgusting!  Now I’m going to make a pancake.”  My Grand held a palm size flat rock in one hand and with the other drizzled thin mud.  “That’s chocolate sauce. It’s delicious!”  Her giggle made me laugh.

            Seven of our eight Grands request pancakes for breakfast when they spend the night with Husband and me. Most remind me to add sprinkles or chocolate chips, but one always says, “Just plain.  No sprinkles or anything.”  And each chooses favorite pancake shapes:  stars, bears, flowers, or hearts.  When a friend gave me silicone ring shapes twelve years ago, I didn’t know a shaped pancake tastes better than a round one. 

            Grand #1 is 16 and his breakfast choice has always been bacon and eggs.  Scrambled eggs topped with melted American cheese and crisp bacon.  “These eggs are better than Mom’s, but it’s not her fault,” David said last week.  “Cooking eggs for all of us (his parents and four siblings) is harder than cooking just for me.”   

            I knew 6-year-old Jesse was up because I heard his footsteps in the playroom which is directly above my bedroom.  The clock said 5:50, an hour or so before I usually get out of bed.  I stumbled to the kitchen, made a cup of coffee, walked up the stairs, and then watched my Grand play. 

            “Look Gran, I sorted them,” he said.  Bristle blocks, that his mother had played with when she was a kid, were in groups by color.  “Did you notice that all the big square blocks are red and the little ones are green?”  I nodded.  “And, look, the wheels are the only circles so they’re over here.”  He pointed to six wheels. 

            Jesse stuck two red blocks together and added wheels near the bottom edge.  “I’m making a car,” he said.  He made a car, a house, a tall tower that fell several times, but stayed together.  He talked non-stop telling me who drove the car, who lived in the house, and he laughed every time the tower fell. 

            As we walked down the steps, Jesse said, “Can I have chocolate chip pancakes?  And a heart and a star?”  Yes, every time, anytime.

            Heart Tugs.  I’m catching all I can.

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