It’s a bit of a technicality, I’ll admit, but even though we have four children, we never had just one who was 6 years of age. That all changed this past weekend.
The memorable highlight of the weekend was having our 6-year-old grandson, Jonah, “in the house” for his first solo overnighter at grandma’s and grandpa’s house.
The schedule had been set for the exchange to happen late Saturday morning. Updates began arriving from their breakfast table in Greenville where we were alerted, via text and a picture to add validation, that this was national “Ice Cream for Breakfast” day. Jonah, grinning from ear-to-ear, sat poised at the table ready to dig into a waffle topped with a massive scoop of ice cream. Kudos to whoever came up with that idea!
Our rendezvous point later than morning was the parking lot of the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta. We then proceeded to transfer all the necessary items for the 24-hour visit: backpack filled with ample books and toys, two pillows, sleeping and gym bags, an electric fan, car seat and, of course, his “BrilliantMagic Magic Set” of 25 classic tricks, a gift for Christmas from “guess who?”.
His two siblings were none too happy about their brother getting preferential treatment with the grandparents. Maybe it didn’t help that I was such a “salty caramel” tease, proposing for all to hear, “Jonah, I think we should have ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner!” This possibility was met with a most immediate frown from those left behind.
Lunchtime was right around the corner as we made the trek north to Findlay for the afternoon’s feature event. We stopped for a leisurely fast food at one of his favorite establishments, Burger King. While there, we splurged and bought him a dog, too. It was a Welsh Sheepdog, so we named him Rooster. He came in a plastic bag with his kid’s meal. Surprisingly, Jonah passed on the offer of an ice cream cone for dessert.
A budding magician himself, the three of us then took in the wonderment of “The Amazing Max,” a grown-up magician, at Findlay’s Marathon Center for the Performing Arts. Our red-headed grandson’s exuberant enthusiasm could hardly be contained as he laughed and giggled his way through the hour-long show entertaining a most youthful audience.
Following the engaging performance, his grandparents were definitely up for ice cream. Our third wheel, however, was more interested in heading to Ottawa and watching “Toy Story 4.” We made him wait, as grandma and grandpa wanted sundaes at Culver’s, and since I had the keys to the car, we each got them.
After a lightning-fast unpacking upon arrival, he quickly broke open the magic set, spreading it out on the kitchen table. We witnessed how “the hand was quicker than the eye,” since prior to each trick came the directive, “Grandpa, close your eyes, and don’t open them until I say so!”
The fourth adventure of Woody and Buzz Lightyear followed with plenty of hot popcorn with kettle corn topping, too. There was no better way to finish the night than games at the kitchen table. Jonah schooled us both in a forgettable game of the “Despicable Me Memory Game.” I towered over the competition in Jenga. Grandma sent us packing claiming No. 1 in “Uno!”
Throughout the games, we battled to gain “Alexa’s” attention as he tried to get her to play “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” while I favored the Titans’ boys basketball game against Eastwood. Alexa was both confused and torn!
Just before bedtime, he kept the spirit of Christmas alive by having me read “The Nutcracker.”
Nighttime prayers followed at the foot of our bed, where he chose to sleep. If only we had a dog willing to sleep so soundly at the foot of the bed as he did!
Sunday, after church, we finished our time together with an energizing game of tag at the Ottawa Memorial Park playground before we headed south for him to be reunited with his clan.
This time we said goodbye not in the museum parking lot but at the Dairy Queen for, you guessed it, ice cream!
Ken Pollitz moved to Ottawa in 1991 as mission-developer/pastor of New Creation Lutheran Church. His biweekly column provides insights and viewpoints from Putnam County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org