Jeremy bounced up and down in the kitchen chair. “I wanna make a bear, Momma, ROARR! “ Jeremy lifted both of his hands and curled his fists like paws. “ROARR!” he said again in his loudest and fiercest four-year old voice.
“Oh my, aren’t you a scary sounding bear!” Beth said as she placed the construction paper, the lunch sacks and glue stick down on the table.
“You want to make somethin’ too, Momma?” I got a sack for you; if you want make somethin’ too?”
“Okay, Honey Bear. What should Mommy make?”
“Umm,” Jeremy placed his index finger up to the corner of his lip and scrunched up his eyebrows, seriously pondering the question his mom had just asked him.
“I know!” He said as his eyes opened wider, “You can make a bunny rabbit!”
“Okay, I’ll do that,” reaching over and gently smoothing the honey strands of hair on the top her son’s head. Jeremy’s hair was the same exact color hers had been at that age. The only difference was Jeremy’s hair was not nearly as curly as hers had been. Over the years, Beth’s hair had also gotten quite a few shades darker.
Beth continued to giggle as her daddy began clapping and shouting, “Encore! Encore!”
She and her mom jumped out from behind the leather sofa. Beth had a grin across her small round face almost the size of the big grin she had drawn on her paper bag puppet earlier that afternoon.
“Did you like the show, Daddy, did you?”
“I sure did, Honey Bear! Where did you get such cute puppets?” he asked as he scooped Beth up into his arms, already knowing the answer to his question.
“Me and Mommy made them while you were at work. I made this one, Daddy,” handing her dad the little doggie puppet with the big red lips and floppy brown construction paper ears. “And Mommy made that one.” Beth said, pointing to the bear puppet her mom was holding. “Look at the teeth Mommy made on hers…ROARR! “ Beth clinched her teeth and made her hands into bear claws.
“Those are some really cute puppets, Honey.”
“Daddy, did you have fun driving your up truck today?” Beth asked.
Her dad smiled. She was referring to the UPS truck he drove for a living. His daughter asked him this question nearly everyday when he got home from work. He was her hero driving around in that monster brown truck. And she told her dad quite regularly that she couldn’t wait until she was old enough to drive an “up” truck just like him. “Yes, Honey, Daddy had good day, lots and lots of packages in my truck today.”
The phone rang just as Jeremy was about to draw a set of big teeth on his paper bag bear. Beth jumped up from the table and grabbed the phone from the kitchen counter, quickly reading the name on Caller ID...Foothills Regional Hospital.
Beth clicked the phone on. “Hey, Mom, how’s he doing today?”
“So much better, Honey,” her mom replied.
Beth could hear the relief in her mom’s voice.
Her mom continued, “The doctor said it would be okay if you and Jeremy wanted to come by and say hello. I think your Dad would really appreciate the company too.”
“We will be there shortly. Jeremy and I are just finishing up.” Beth hung up the phone and turned to look at Jeremy. “Okay, buddy, time to go see Grandpa!”
“Yay!” Jeremy replied, picking up his puppet bear from the table. “Don’t forget your bunny, Mommy.”
“No, Sir, I wouldn’t dream of it,” Beth replied grabbing the bunny puppet off the table. As they left for the hospital, Beth chuckled to herself. Her dad had been in the shipping business for nearly 25 years and never once hurt his back….three weeks into retirement and he hurts it moving a bedroom dresser from one side of the room to another.
Beth peaked inside Room 132 as she and Jeremy stood in the doorway. Her mom was sitting in the chair next to the hospital bed. She glanced up and saw them both standing there. Smiling, she quietly waved them in. Beth’s dad had his eyes closed as she and Jeremy made their way to the foot of the bed and crouched down so only their bunny and bear bags were visible. Then Beth’s mom gently tapped on her husband’s shoulder. “Darling, I think you have some visitors.”
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