Mr. Man is positively obsessed with anything that turns a light on or off. His sisters’ Lite Sprites, his little-guy karaoke stage, the selector buttons on the dishwasher, or actual light switches are all equally entrancing to him. If he is evidencing some of the less winsome behaviors that herald the onset of the terrible twos, the fastest way to calm him is to pick him up and let him flick the hall light on and off a few times. Of course, his fascination has led to some outright wars over pushing buttons on the dishwasher, especially now that he’s figured out which button is the “lock” button and that if he presses it twice in quick succession, all the other light-up buttons become available for, well, lighting up. Perhaps even better than the dishwasher’s light indicators is the fact that it fills with water, which is nearly as irresistible as light for the big fellow. I come by my grey hairs honestly.
In Mr. Man’s humble opinion, the greatest place on the planet, next to Chuck E Cheese, is Nonno and Deedaw’s house. Not only do Nonno and Deedaw have at least thirty switches on the bottom floor of their house that cause lights to turn on and off (including one amazing panel that has six actual light switches), they have a dimmer switch on their dining room chandelier. If you would like to see how awesome Mr. Man finds this, please click here.
We spent our afternoon and evening at Nonno and Deedaw’s today, working on a few projects, making dinner, cleaning up after dinner so they could just relax for a few hours and enjoy the company of the tiny people. After the dishwasher was loaded, the adults, plus Baby Guy, retired to the family room to chat and enjoy the tribe’s antics. There were punching balls and Deedaw’s lighted, heated foot massager involved, resulting in minor pandemonium — and then Mr. Man realized that Deedaw had no tiny person occupying her lap. Seizing his opportunity, he clambered up into the recliner with her and settled in for snuggles, kisses, and maybe a round of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or two.
Before any arachnid adventures could commence, however, Mr. Man chanced to turn around, and spied this:
You would think he had found the Holy Grail. A light switch accessible from Deedaw’s lap, flippable without having to get too far from her stash of toffee peanuts . . . oh, in Mr. Man’s world, it just doesn’t get any better than this.
Once again, I cursed myself for forgetting the camera that would have captured the next ten minutes. Mr. Man and Deedaw were giggling together, sharing the last of the toffee peanuts, him telling her whether he was turning the light on or off, she echoing whatever he said, all in a cloud of happy smiles. Then he discovered that he could use the lamp as a sliding board for some little plastic gadget he had found, and the two of them had more of a merry time, him setting up the gadget and watching it sail off the lamp and onto the floor, her laughingly retrieving it for him so he could do it again. For those few minutes, all Deedaw’s worry lines were missing, as Mr. Man opened her a door into his world, where a gooseneck floor lamp and a flat plastic box can be the center of the universe, at least for a short time.
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for the opportunities you give us to love Nonno and Deedaw, to give them days dedicated to what they want and what they need, to give them time to revel in the silliness of their grandchildren’s games and the joy of little laughing voices. Thank You for little blessings who can make their own fun with whatever is close to hand, and who love and respect their grandparents. Please, Lord, help us continue to teach them the privilege of caring for our parents as they age is a great gift from You. We have friends who would have given much to see their parents become old.