Grandpa’s Game

You give me a hug. You smile when you see me, too. I wish ev’ry child in the whole, wide world Had a grandfather just like you. (Children’s Songbook, page 100).

When Brandon arrived at his grandparents’ home to spend the day, he hugged Grandma hello, said goodbye to his mom, and pulled off his jacket. Then he quietly peeked into the living room to find Grandpa.

Grandpa was sitting in his favorite chair, reading the newspaper in his pajamas and robe.

Brandon ran to the middle of the room and yelled, “Boo!”

Grandpa jumped and dropped the paper into his lap. “Who are you?”

Brandon giggled. “I’m Brandon.”

Grandpa laughed. “You’re not Brandon. You’re too big. My Brandon is little. He sucks his thumb and always has his blanket with him.”

Brandon laughed. “That’s when I was a baby. I’m bigger now.” He stretched as tall as he could. “I can do a somersault.”

“You can’t do a somersault,” Grandpa said. “You don’t know how.”

“Yes I do,” Brandon insisted. “Watch.” He did a somersault right there on the living room carpet.

Grandpa clapped. “That’s wonderful! Come and give your old grandpa a hug.”

Brandon ran across the room and threw his arms around Grandpa.

“My Brandon gives better hugs than that,” Grandpa said.

Brandon squeezed him tighter. Then Brandon giggled and said, “You’re not my grandpa. My grandpa doesn’t wear glasses.”

Grandpa took off his glasses.

“And my grandpa doesn’t have a prickly face.”

“Is that so?” Grandpa said. He folded his newspaper and led the way to the bathroom, where he spread shaving cream over his cheeks and chin. With each stroke of the razor, more of his face appeared. When he finished, he wiped his face with a towel and asked Brandon, “Do I look like your grandpa now?”

“You look like him,” Brandon answered, “except that my grandpa wears regular clothes.”

“Give me a minute, and I’ll find some.”

Grandpa stopped in the hallway. “Have you checked the bird feeders? My Brandon always checks the bird feeders.”

“No,” Brandon answered. “I’ll do it right now.”

Brandon ran to the dining room and knelt on a chair by the window. A tiny green bird was at the sugar-water feeder. The bird’s wings moved so fast that Brandon couldn’t see them.

Grandpa came in and watched the bird with Brandon. After the bird flew away, Grandpa asked, “Did you like that robin?”

“That was a hummingbird,” Brandon answered.

“My Brandon calls them robins,” Grandpa said.

“Not any more,” Brandon insisted. “You told me the birds that use that feeder are hummingbirds.”

Grandpa laughed. “They are hummingbirds, but you’re not my Brandon.”

Brandon jumped off the chair. “Yes, I am your Brandon. I’ll show you I am.” He pulled Grandpa to the workshop in the garage and picked up a wooden box without a top. “This is the birdhouse we’re making. Here’s the first nail I pounded. See, it’s crooked. And this is the brown paint we bought to paint it with.”

“Well,” Grandpa said, “you know a lot of things my Brandon would know. But my Brandon likes to go to the park on a nice day like today.”

“I am your Brandon, and I want to go to the park.”

“Are you sure you’re my Brandon? I don’t want to go to the park with a stranger.”

“I am your Brandon, and I want to go to the park.”

“Do you have a red jacket? My Brandon has a red jacket.”

“I have a new jacket,” Brandon answered. “It’s blue, just like yours.”

Brandon ran to the kitchen and put on his new jacket.

Grandpa got his jacket from the closet. “Well,” he said, “look at that. Our jackets do match. Do you have a red baseball cap? My Brandon always wears a red baseball cap.”

“Here it is.” Brandon put on his cap. “My grandpa wears a black cap.”

“Here it is.” Grandpa put on his black cap. “My Brandon has a ticklish spot right here.” Grandpa tickled Brandon.

Brandon wiggled and giggled and squirmed all the way to the back door. He opened the door and ran outside. “I’m your Brandon, you’re my grandpa, and we’re ready now. Let’s go to the park!”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Dick Brown