For Memorial Day Weekend Jeff and I headed back to Wisconsin, hoping to spend as much time with Raun, Pam and the kids as possible before we moved. This was really the first time Jeff had spent time with the kids and they were getting to know each other. Jeff had a great sense of humor around kids. He is just off enough to make them think and the clever ones can keep him going for hours. At lunch we discussed Brianna’s fear of ketchup because someone told her it was blood. Jeff affirmed that it really was blood of the tomatoes. I’m not sure if that helped or hurt the situation. Sage thought he was fun to play games with such as “I’m thinking of”.
We spent Memorial Day at Jeff’s parents playing in the lake, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. All of Jeff’s family was there and all day I was reminded that this would most likely never happen again. This was a day in history and the next time this group of people were together could be years away. How often do we experience historical moments and not realize it. We ended our day at a Japanese restaurant. It was entertaining to the kids to watch their meals being made in front of us. Lot’s of fire, lot’s of knives and lot’s of throwing food. Chase, the youngest was sitting next to me. All evening I had noticed that he had to be touching me, either his arm was on my arm or his hand was on my hand or his head was on my shoulder. At some point he got bored and needed a change. I suggested that he and Grandpa Jeff go out and check on the car to see if Ellie (our dog) was safe. They headed out the door hand in hand. When they returned they took their time getting to the table. There were scary masked on the wall and caught Chase’s attention. Ice cream was waiting for them when they returned.
“I don’t like ice cream” said Chase as he sat down next to Jeff.
He took a bite.
“I thought you didn’t like ice cream?” Jeff said.
“I was just teasing you.” He replied. After several spoonfuls he looked up at Jeff and asked; “Can I try some of yours?”
Chase continued to eat out of both bowls. He stopped at one point and looked at Jeff. “Are you happy?”
Jeff looked at me. “Am I happy?” Looking back at Chase, “Yes I’m happy.”
“I’m happy too.”said Chase.
Dinner was over and we said our good byes. Jeff and I would head back to Chicago in the morning. Shortly after we had gone our seperate ways we received a text message from Raun. ‘Chase got out of the Jeep and looked down at the pavement and said, I want Grandpa Jeff’
We had made a connection. These children were part of our lives and if we were going to be their grandparents some day, we were going to be grandma and grandpa, step- would not be in our vocabulary.