“This one’s Brady and that one’s Alex.“
“No, no, no.” I shook my head and pointed at each boy in the picture firmly stating, “THIS one’s Alex and THAT is Brady.”
My husband Paul studied the picture again more carefully. “Really…how can you tell?”
“I can tell by the eyes,” I said with resolute self-assurance.
“Yes. And the hair is different too; see how Alex’s hair sticks up in the middle?”
“Yeah, but they both do that.”
“Yeah, but Alex’s does it more.”
Looking from one to the other, he wrinkled his eyes with uncertainty. “Ok, if you say so.”
A year since our last visit, we planned the ten-day trip with our hearts set on spending time with our grandsons: a four-year-old set of twins.
“So what are we going to do with them?” I asked as we sat in the airplane two hours from our destination.
“I think they’re ready to fish.”
I imagined the sweet scenario in my mind. “Yeah, I bet they’ll get a big kick out of that.”
Paul nodded with a smile. “Yeah, that’ll be fun.”
It was cold outside the next morning when Paul and I awoke to two little boys shyly peeking through the door of our bedroom. With giggles, they quickly retreated and dashed down the hall to the kitchen where their mother Jen prepared breakfast.
We climbed out of bed and walked to the kitchen.
“Hey guys, it looks like it’s going to be too cold to do any fishing today, so what do you want to do?” Paul asked.
“Go to Buga King!” One cheered.
“Yeah, Buga King!” The other agreed. “Da one wid a pawk.”
“Burger King? That sounds like fun… yeah, ok; we’ll go there for lunch.”
They jumped and danced, then squealed, running down the hall together and into their bedroom.
“Where’s the Burger King with the park?” Paul asked Jen.
“Oh, it’s the one over on Center and 177th; they just love going there.”
“Ok, but what else are we going to do today?” He called out to the boys, and then looked at Jen. “Is there anything they need?”
“Well, they could use some new pajamas; they’re starting to outgrow the ones they have… and they’ve mentioned they want some bed slippers.”
“Ok, that sounds like a Wal-Mart trip,” Paul said cheerfully.He loudly asked, “You guys want to go to Wal-Mart for some new pajamas and slippers?”
Together they roared with excitement from down the hall. “Yeah Wamot!”
“Ok, eat your breakfast and we’ll go shopping.”
I looked back at one of the boys as they sat in their car seats. “Well Alex, you ready to go to Wal-Mart?”
“I’m Bwady Gwamma.”
“Oh. Well Brady, are you ready to go to Wal-Mart?”
“You’re hungry? But you just had breakfast.” I looked at Paul wondering how to respond.
Paul looked at the boys through the rear view mirror. “You boys’ hungry already?”
“Yeah. Can we go to Buga King?” Alex asked.
Paul and I looked at each other and shrugged. “Yeah, we can go to Burger King, and then we’ll go to Wal-Mart ok?”
Their eyes lit up. “Ok!” they chimed.
I thought it was Brady taking my hand and guiding me across the parking lot and into the restaurant.
“Well Brady, what do you want to eat?” I asked as we approached the counter.
“Oh. Well Alex, what do YOU want to eat?”
“Kid Meo,” He said gazing up at me with smiling blue eyes.
“Me too,” Brady exclaimed, as he stepped up holding Grandpa’s hand.
“Ok, two Kids Meals,” Paul affirmed. “What about you Grandma?”
“Oh, I’ll have what you have.”
With a tray piled with food, the four of us made our way to an enclosed room at the rear of the dining area, where children gleefully climbed, crawled, and screamed through a colorful maze of large plastic tubes.
“Look at me Gwampa,” echoed through the window at the top of the massive structure.
Paul looked up and waved.“Hey Alex!”
“Oh. You ready to eat yet?”
“Yeah.” Brady disappeared from the window, and then arrived with Alex at the bottom of the slide moments later.
Over an hour later of burgers, fries, coke and perspiration, and then back in the car, Paul asked over his shoulder, “Ready for Wal-Mart?”
The two little book ends were sleeping as we left the parking lot.
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