Grandma came to visit when Dad took Momma to the hospital to have the new baby. Since I’m the oldest, I knew I could help Grandma a lot. I showed her where the plates and glasses went and which blankie Susie needed for her nap. I told her that Annie preferred cheese sandwiches to peanut butter and jelly. I helped set the table and clean up the dirty dishes.
“Joshua, you are so helpful,” Grandma said.
After dinner, Grandma read stories from Susie and Annie’s fairy-tale books. Then she let me pick out some stories from my favorite dinosaur books.
“I never get tired of reading about brontosauruses, tyrannosauruses, and triceratops,” Grandma said. “And that reminds me of something.” Grandma walked over to her suitcase and opened it. She pulled out a fossil with the print of a leaf preserved in a rock. “I found this on the farm,” she said, handing it to me.
At bedtime, Grandma helped us read the scriptures before family prayer.
In the morning, Dad called to say he was bringing Momma and our new baby home. We all hurried to finish up our chores. My sisters and I stacked the toys in the toy box and washed and dried the dishes. Grandma mopped and vacuumed floors and finished folding the clothes she had washed.
We were getting tired after all our work. Grandma sat down on the bed and picked up a pillow to fluff it up. Suddenly the seam on one side of the pillow split open, and feathers scattered everywhere. Grandma tried to stuff the feathers back in, but they flew around her like a blizzard of snow. Susie and Annie squealed and ran through the storm of feathers. I forgot I was supposed to be helping and joined in, sending more feathers swirling across the floor.
Grandma grabbed a broom and dustpan, but sweeping only scattered the feathers more. Grandma sank into a chair and wiped her forehead with her handkerchief.
I stopped running and looked at Grandma. She had worked so hard, and now Momma would come home to a big mess. I stopped galloping around and told Susie and Annie we needed to help Grandma clean up. I found a large paper bag, and we started gathering up handfuls, but feathers still littered the room.
I got the vacuum and turned it on. Whoosh! The vacuum sucked up feathers like fall leaves swirling into a leaf catcher. Then my sisters and I went out on the porch and plucked feathers out of our hair.
Grandma looked relieved. “Thank you, Joshua,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
When Momma arrived home, we crowded around to hug her.
“Did the neighbors’ chickens escape from their henhouse?” she asked. “I saw a few feathers on the porch.”
Grandma and I looked at each other and laughed as we all went to meet the new baby brother Dad was holding in a bundle of blankets.