“Get some clothes together. I’m taking you to Maw-Maw’s,” she told him. ”Maybe you’ll know how to act after a few days with her.”
A single mom who had to hold down a job, take care of a house and two children, she often felt overwhelmed, especially since the kids were getting older and were sometimes unruly.
When she got overtired and short of patience, she threatened them with me as a way to get them in line. She was certain I’d apply the same strict rules to her children that I had to her growing up, but she didn’t quite understand that it doesn’t work the same with grandchildren.
And we never told her. (Smile)
I always knew when Chase was coming, of course, and was ready for him. His room was clean, special foods bought and meals planned to his liking. His visits were fun for me as I had few responsibilities and sometimes got bored. A few days with him was the shot in the arm I needed to get me on track again.
He was just like me – a night owl! Staying up some nights until two or three a.m., we’d sit at the kitchen bar, he at one end and I at the other, playing on our computers and making conversation. I’d bake cookies to snack on or we’d have vanilla ice cream drizzled with my homemade chocolate sauce.
Sometimes we’d change things a bit by playing a few games of gin rummy – for pennies. Chase’s money-making instincts surfaced early in life. He wouldn’t even consider wasting time on cards if money wasn’t involved.
When we finally went to bed, we slept as late as we wanted since neither of us had a pressing reason to get up. Summer months were no problem and in winter, his homeschool hours were flexible.
After breakfast, we’d sometimes take a walk around the neighborhood or watch a little TV or just get right back to our computers. Nothing was scheduled. It was all fun and games.
He’d usually stay for three or four days before his mother phoned and said, “Are you ready to come home?”
“I guess so, he’d answer.”
“Do you think you can act right now?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
Truth was, he really wasn’t ready to go home. Why should he be?
But he packed his bag and waited for “Mom” to pick him up. Then he’d sheepishly drag along beside her to the car, faking a pout that implied he’d learned his lesson the hard way.
This went on for a few years before his mom realized he didn’t need to go to Maw-Maw’s for a realignment anymore.
Though we never discussed it, Chase and I have an unspoken agreement that what happens at Maw-Maw’s stays at Maw-Maw’s!