“Do you want to play throw and catch?”
“Sure, where do you want to play?”
My 3-year-old nephew Max answered my question by leading the way to my bedroom, small blue rubber vanilla-scented ball clutched in his hands.
“Look, we can roll it to each other across the bed,” I suggested.
Max agreed and the game was launched. The two of us pushed the ball back and forth between us as it rose and fell amidst the hills and valleys of my lumpy green comforter. Much like any other child his age who can’t sit still for more than three minutes, he soon got on his feet only to jump up and land on my mattress. Repeatedly.
”You’re not allowed to jump on my bed, Max,” I told him, showing my disapproval of his behavior by throwing the blue ball to the floor. “I’m not gonna play with you anymore if you keep doing that.”
“You don’t make the rules! Grandma makes the rules!”
“One of Grandma’s rules is that you aren’t allowed to jump on my bed.”
The exasperated youngster responded by pouting for a few minutes, almost hiding out of sight from where I sat atop the tall bed. He sprawled flat like the homemade crepe his Grandma made him earlier that day that he refused to finish, right in front of my rectangular mirror hanging on the wall. To be quite honest, I thought the exchange would cause the little boy to storm out of my room or at least scream at me.
A short while later, suddenly Max, seemingly transformed, spoke up. I was totally flabbergasted, to put it mildly, to hear the words that tumbled from his lips.
“I love you again, Amy,” he said as he rose and climbed back onto my bed like nothing ever happened. “Let’s play.”