After we made an assortment of preparations, Friday morning found us Atlanta bound. Jakey, our grandson, was turning eight on Friday and we had a birthday to celebrate. They couldn’t come down here to celebrate because big brother Trey and his school chorus were singing the national anthem at a ballgame Friday night. When they can’t come to us, we go to them. We don’t love Atlanta, but we love some folks who live up there, so we went up in time for Trey’s performance, too. Then we celebrated Jakey’s birthday the rest of the weekend.
Trey’s chorus’ performance was delightful and gave me goose bumps. Then we watched the ballgame through halftime and band performances. Taking three boys nine and under to a ballgame is quite an adventure in itself. They cheered and danced. Larry and I nearly had heart attacks worrying that one or more of them would fall off the bleachers, but we worried for nothing. We left after halftime, supposedly for the boys’ benefit, but it may have been for the grandparents’ benefit. We were incredibly tired after driving in rush hour traffic through Atlanta up to Sandy Springs on the north side.
Saturday morning began with birthday pancakes. Immediately afterwards, the questions began.
“Grandma, is it party time yet?”
“No, Jakey, everyone is coming at 5:30,” I told him.
“You mean I have to wait all day? I don’t think I can wait that long,” he moaned. “I’m just a kid.”
“Well, how about a trip to Barnes and Noble to help you pass the time?” I asked him. What Ellis child would turn down a trip to a bookstore?
“Can I buy a book?” he asked.
Now I may deny a request for toys, but the boys know I don’t deny requests for books. I could never in good conscience deny my grandchildren an opportunity to read. So Julie and I loaded them into the car and set off. We spent the next couple of hours browsing the children’s section and sitting at small tables to read. The scary books stacked on the Halloween rack caught their eyes first and we stopped there. It was Jakey’s birthday, but Trey and Will knew they’d get books, too. Will chose a book right away.
“Grandma, I want this scary spider book,” he said, grinning like the cherub that he is and holding up his orange book with a huge spider on the front.
He took it to the table to read it—uh, look at the pictures, that is. He can’t read just yet. Jakey pounced on a Lego encyclopedia and sat to peruse it. Trey was browsing in the chapter book section, looking for the newest Rick Riordan book. He’s really into Percy Jackson and all those Olympians right now. That’s my boy!
The boys each finally chose a book and we left. They read and played and finally 5:30 arrived with Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake with Lego candles, presents and Jakey’s favorite foods—macaroni and cheese, hot dogs and hamburgers, chips, roasted vegetables (amazing choice), and deviled eggs. Many new Legos came via the presents, as Jakey had requested. He’s a real Lego man. That’s all he ever asks for. From then until we left Sunday, he and his brothers were involved in building various Lego creations. Under duress, he did stop to sleep for a while.
We said goodbye to three sad faces and promised to be back soon. The leaves are really turning in north Georgia and I enjoyed the view until the rains came and I had to concentrate on Atlanta traffic. I thought traffic would be light on Sunday, but I should have known better. It was worth all the traffic irritation though, and as the boys get older and more involved in school and scout activities, I suspect we’ll be heading up that way pretty often. When grandchildren call and ask for our presence, we grandparents pack and go. That’s the way it should be.