Myson heard a knock at the door and the click-clack of Mommy’s shoes. He raced to his special hiding spot and watched Mommy escort Pastor Jim to the sofa. As the grown-ups chatted, little by little, Myson inched across the living room floor on his belly, listening to every word.
Pastor Jim cleared his throat and pointed to Myson. “I do believe there’s a puppy dog trying to hear our conversation.”
Myson giggled as he wiggled free from the confines of the table. “Me’s not a puppy. Me’s Myson.” He walked over with his head held high and offered his hand. “Howdy-do.”
After Pastor Jim shook his hand, Myson spun around, searching Mommy’s face for approval. Instead little drops of tears glistened across her cheeks. Myson dove into Mommy’s lap. He scrunched up his forehead and planted sloppy kisses all over her face. “Mommy, whaddsa madder?”
Mommy tickled Myson and smiled when he giggled. “Mommy is just missing Grandma, honey.”
“Did Padtor Jim make you cry?” Myson raised his eyebrows as he stared at the visitor relaxing in Daddy’s chair.
“Oh, no Pun’kin, we were talking about Grandma. I miss her and feel sad sometimes, but that’s okay.” She cupped her hand under Myson’s chin and turned his head so they were eye-to-eye. “However, do you know what is NOT okay?”
Lowering his shoulders, Myson wiggled in an attempt to free his chin from Mommy’s grip. “Listenin’ to the ‘dults talk?”
“You got it, dude! Not nice. Now go play and we’ll talk later.”
Myson scrambled out of Mommy’s lap and ran to his bedroom. He picked up his purple dinosaur and looked into its plastic eyes. “Mommy’s sad, Barney. I gotta make her happy again.”
His eyes widened and he put Barney under one arm as he scurried to the kitchen. “I know how to fix Mommy’s problem!” Dropping the stuffed toy on the floor, Myson grabbed a stool and pushed it to the pantry. Perching on the edge of the shelves, his chubby legs flexed as he scrambled up the cupboard.
A smile crept across his face as his fingers touched the edge of his special cup. With a bit of wiggling, he managed to free it with the tip of his finger. It toppled to the floor and Myson climbed down after it.
He picked it up and rubbed his hands across the faded picture that had been stamped on it. Looking back at him was the purple dinosaur, Barney. Myson looked around the kitchen and found the stuffed dinosaur swimming in the dog’s bowl. He scampered over and plucked the dinosaur from danger.
After drying Barney off with a dishtowel, Myson tip-toed to the foyer. He was just in time to see the door close. Scrunching up his face, he wrapped his arms around the soggy toy and the beloved cup. He could feel his chest pound as he looked at the cup and then at Mommy. With each look, he scrunched his face tighter. Mommy. Scrunch. Cup. Scrunch. Mommy.
Taking a deep breath, Myson threw back his shoulders and marched into the living room. Mommy swiped away the few tears that lingered on her cheeks as she scooped up her son. “That’s a serious-looking face, dear. What’s on your mind?”
Once more, Myson inhaled through his mouth and blew out through his nose. He swallowed hard and then thrust the cup into Mommy’s hands. “Here, it’s yours now.”
Mommy raised her right eyebrow. “You’re giving me your favorite cup—the one Grandma gave you?”
Biting his lower lip, Myson nodded.
Mommy pulled Myson closer. “Why?”
“Cuz you was crying when Padter Jim axed you to be in the choir. You says that you can’t carry a tune in a bucket.” He blinked his eyes and ran his fingers over Mommy’s lip. “I tried carrin’ a bucket once and it’s heavy. But my cup isn’t heavy at all, so I’m givin’ it to you so yous can carry a tune in it and sing in the choir—just like Grandma did.”
Mommy wrapped her arms around Myson and squeezed him tight. Tears plopped down her face and splashed on Barney. Her laughter filled the room. “Thank you, Myson. This is the best present ever.”
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