Sleepover at Grampy and Maria’s House

by on May 18, 2023 · 5 comments

in From the Soul

by Ernie McCray

Two of my grandchildren,
Lyric and Marley,
Lyric almost ten,
Marley, eight,
slept over
the other night
and things went great.

I just had to concede
that I couldn’t keep
up with their speed
and just went along for the ride,
at my own pace,
and when they weren’t chasing
or dancing
or throwing or catching
or kicking a ball,
they’d come and sit with me for a bit
and Lyric
had us
answering questions out of a book
and I learned a couple of things about noses
I didn’t know,
like a sneeze blows
out of your nose
at ten miles an hour
and a slug has four,
and Marley and I
had a kind of philosophical
back and forth
about adoptions,
what a “real parent” is,
and about death,
as Marley wanted to know if I still miss
Nancy, her grandmother,
who died
never getting to see her
or her brother,
and I replied
“I sure do.”
And she says I’m lucky
since now I’ve got Maria,
and I replied
“I sure am.”

They scored some books
for cheap
outside the University City Library,
on a walk with Maria
and our perro, Nacho.

And, of course, there had to be some
showing off
which Lyric
pulled off
with a math trick
he created
related to multiplying,
one I wish I could remember
but I don’t possess his
arithmetical mind,
and we threw in
some music appreciation when
Marley played “Flower” by
Korean sensation, Jisoo,
on YouTube,
an artist new to me,
and we rocked to mellow
Hip-Hop beats
and I played,
for her,
Jazz legend
Cannonball Adderly’s
“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,”
pointing out, singularly,
Joe Zawinul’s
smooth funky touch
on the piano,
how he plays with deep passion
like the way Jisoo sings
and all of us sang briefly,
with me soloing
on “This Little Light of Mine,”
how I was gonna let it shine,
to which Marley said
“I don’t like old songs very much,”
to which I said,
after explaining the song’s lyrics,
“That’s not going to stop me
from letting my light shine
as a guide for you two beautiful guys
to live by.”

I had such a good time.
We all did.

And one moment
that stands out in my mind
is when Marley said to me
as we talked about aging,
a subject she finds fascinating:
“Grampy, I want to be like you
when I grow old.”

Oh, did that ever melt my soul
because I’d love for her to be like me
when she grows old
and the same goes
for that brother of hers,
and it seems to me,
as I watch them grow,
at this very early stage
of their life journeys,
that they’re bubbling
with love
and intellect
and curiosity inside
their innocent souls,
that have sustained me
as I’ve grown old.

Wonder what the next sleepover
will be like?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Joni Halpern May 18, 2023 at 10:16 pm

Beautiful account of a wonderfully blessed experience!


Carrie Adams-Peery May 23, 2023 at 1:38 pm

Beautifully said by my friend and former college, Ernie
I love reading your comments. They remind me of San Diego when I was teaching Kindergarten across the playground from Nancy and she taught pre-K. Do you remember those times? It seems a calmer time. Keep the messages coming. Say hello to Marie, she and I were principals together.
I live in Las Vegas now and am committed to several community organizations to help our youth. Stay real!
Carrie Cecilia Adams-Peery


Elaine D. May 23, 2023 at 4:29 pm

How very special and wonderful!


BARBARA LEWIS May 24, 2023 at 8:09 pm



michele joy kipnis June 5, 2023 at 7:23 pm

I’m also blessed with two grand-girls that light up my soul; warm my heart and fill me with delight and laughter each time we talk; facetime or visit with each other. Your gift of expressing feelings; events and observations are a joy to read. Continue to be healthy and safe and loving life!


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