Arian's point of view:
"And today is Monday," Grandma said putting the word Monday up on her chart.
"We moved here last Monday, Grandma," I told her.
"That's right, my smart girl," Grandma said. "And tomorrow will be?"
"Um, Wednesday?" I asked.
"Put 'Tuesday' on the chart, Arian."
I put it on our chart.
"Grandma, is this what Aunt Bell and Aunt Alice are learning at their school?"
"No, honey. They are reading high school books."
"What level of books do I read?"
"You're reading first grade books, honey."
We then talked about the weather before we started to read my books. I cuddled with Grandma as I read a book about puppies, my favorite kind of book. She was teaching me how to cook, too. I helped her make lunch, and we started the spaghetti sauce for dinner. After we finished that, we started with math. I learned how to add number and then made pictures using shapes. I loved the shapes; it was almost like a game.
"We need to put these away and check on our spaghetti," Grandma said, gesturing to the game.
"Let's put the blocks in here," Grandma said, holding up the bag. "Then we'll have something new to learn."
"Do you think Brady will like our spaghetti, Grandma?" I asked.
"I'm sure he will." Grandma smiled at me.
"Esme?" Uncle Edward called from downstairs.
"We're upstairs," Grandma replied.
"I'm ready when you are."
"We'll be right down."
I heard Uncle Edward start to play the piano. It sounded very nice. Grandma and I held hands as we walked downstairs to check on our spaghetti sauce. She even let me stir it. When were finished, Grandma held my hand again.
"Mommy, Daddy, and I were talking. We thought you could learn how to play the piano," Grandma said.
"The piano?" I asked.
We stepped into the large living room where Uncle Edward was sitting at the piano playing it. I squeezed Grandma's hand. She knelt down in front of me.
"Uncle Edward would like to teach you how to play," Grandma said softly.
I clutched my hands as Grandma watched me. I looked down. Uncle Edward wasn't scary, but I was shy around him. Uncle Edward started to play a new song. It sounded very nice, too.
"Would you like to go sit by him?" Grandma asked.
I nodded slowly. Grandma picked me up while she stood up. She sat on the bench Uncle Edward was sitting on. He started to play a different song that was slower.
"When you play any song you count one, two, three, four," Uncle Edward said. "One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four."
He continued to count as he played and his fingers moved.
"I move my fingers when I say a different number," Uncle Edward said.
He started to count again. I leaned back against Grandma as Uncle Edward continued to play. Grandma wrapped her arms around me.
"Would you like to try?" Uncle Edward asked.
I looked down, feeling really shy again. Uncle Edward started to play the same four notes over and over again, counting softly. I looked at the hand that was playing. It seemed pretty easy. Slowly I put my hand up, and Uncle Edward moved his hand out of the way.
"Put your fingers here," Uncle Edward said, pointing to the places his fingers were at.
I put my fingers where he said.
"Now push this finger first, that will be one," Uncle Edward explained the rest of the fingers were two, three, four. "Are you ready?"
I nodded slowly.
"One, two, three, four, good girl. Again one, two, three, four," Uncle Edward said.
I played one, two, three, four a lot of times.
"Grandma, I'm playing the piano!" I said.
"Yes you are, my love." I felt Grandma kiss my head.
"My fingers think they are tired," I whispered.
"Okay." Uncle Edward laughed. "We'll play more tomorrow and a little longer."
"Okay, Uncle Edward," I whispered to him.
"I enjoyed playing with you," he told me quietly.
"Thank you," I whispered.
"Arian?" Mommy's voice yelled out from the kitchen.
"Oh, Mommy's home!"
I got off of Grandma's lap to run to the kitchen.
"Mommy, Mommy!" I yelled when I saw her.
She scooped me up into her arms and kissed my cheek.
"I missed you so much," I told her as I hugged her close.
"I missed you too." She hugged me back. "What did you do today?"
"I read and did math and played the piano until my fingers got tired."
"She was quite good," Uncle Edward said, and when I looked, he was standing in the kitchen.
"I'm so proud of you, baby."
Daddy came into the room with a big smile on his face.
"Daddy, you're home too!"
He wore a white t-shirt and jeans, but there were black marks on them. He went to give me a hug.
"Daddy, you're all dirty! You need to go get clean," I said to him point to his clothes.
Daddy laughed. "May I have a kiss first?"
I leaned forward, so I wouldn't get my clothes dirty. I gave him a quick kiss and pulled away.
"Go clean up, Daddy," I said.
He kissed me on my cheek before leaving.
"Arian, would you like to help me finish making dinner?" Grandma asked me from the kitchen doorway.
"Yes, please," I said. "Mommy, me and Grandma and me and, and Grandma are making spaghetti."
I told Mommy as she set me down. "Oh, that sounds good," Mommy said, laughing.
"I'm learning to cook with Grandma. Will you watch me?"
"I sure will."
"Sit right there, Mommy." I pointed to the tall chairs in the kitchen.
Mommy cleared her throat.
"Please, Mommy," I whispered.
"I will, baby."
I helped Grandma finish our spaghetti sauce and put the pasta into the water. Daddy, Mommy, and Grandma talked quietly while we stirred our sauce. Just as we drained the pasta, Brady got home.
"I'm making you spaghetti, and-and I played the piano, and dinner is almost ready, Brady!" I said.
"Wow, that's some greeting," Brady said, smiling at me. "I can't wait to try your spaghetti."
"Get the plates out, Arian," Grandma said, setting me down.
I walked carefully over to the cupboard to pull out our plates, one big one for Brady and one little one for me.
"Here you go, Grandma." I held up the plates.
"Thank you, my love."
Grandma took the plates and put our meal onto them. Mommy pulled me onto her lap. I watched Brady take the first bite. He ate it slowly, which made me sad because he usually ate very fast. I hung my head as I started to eat. He didn't like my food.
"What's wrong, Arian?" Mommy asked me gently.
Tears filled my eyes, and I sniffled.
"Oh, honey, why are you crying?" Mommy asked.
"Brady doesn't like my food," I said super quietly.
"I, Arian … I love your food," Brady said. "Why don't you think I don't?"
"Because you're eating so slow." Tears ran down my cheeks. "You always eat so fast."
"Because I'm usually so hungry, I eat so fast I don't taste my food, but I'm eating slowly, so I can really taste your food," Brady said.
"I don't understand, Brady."
"I'm just taking my time because you made it."
"Oh, but you like it?"
"I like it so much that I'll have three plates full."
"Oh, good," I whispered. "We made a lot for you."
"Thank you, sweetie."
He smiled at me as he got a big fork full and stuffed it into his mouth. I giggled at him, happy that he liked my food.
A few days later:
"Are you ready, Arian?" Mommy asked.
"We're going to the park now, Mommy?" I asked.
She picked me up and carried me to the car.
"Where's Daddy?" I asked.
"He had to work, remember?"
"Oh, yeah. I miss him a lot."
Mommy put my buckle around me.
"Who's coming with us?" I asked.
"Grandma and Grandpa are. They are super exited too." Mommy kissed my cheek.
"Oh," I whispered. "Mommy?"
"Will you play with me at the park?" I asked.
"Of course." She smiled and kissed my forehead.
Carlisle and Grandma stepped out into the garage. Carlisle held the keys in his hand, and Grandma held his other hand.
"Grandma, I'm excited," I said as Carlisle opened the front door for her and she sat down.
"We are too, sweetie." Grandma smiled at me while Carlisle and Mommy got in the car too.
"And-and I'm going to go down the slide."
"Wow, I can't wait for you to try that."
"How long with it take us to get there?" I asked.
"About ten minutes," Mommy replied.
"Oh, is that shorter than our trip to our new home?" I asked.
Carlisle pulled out of the driveway and asked Mommy a question I didn't understand. I hummed to the music Carlisle played as we drove to the park. It seemed like a longtime, but eventually we were there.. I tried to look out the window to see the playground, but there were too many tall trees in the way. Mommy opened my door and lifted me out of my seat.
"Where is the playground, Mommy?" I asked her.
"Just through those trees." She pointed. "Do you see it yet?"
"Oh there it is!"
A large playground was around the corner. It had three large slides, monkey bars, places to crawl, and swings.
"Oh, Mommy, they have slides just like in my book!" I said, pointing to the large slide.
"Yes they do, don't they?" Mommy asked as she held my hand.
"Will you go down with me?" I asked, feeling nervous.
Did I know how to do it right?
"Of course." Mommy and I walked toward the playground.
"These steps are little like me," I told Mommy as we went up the stairs.
"They're made for you, sweetie." She squeezed my hand.
We got to the top of the slide, and it looked very tall from there.
"It's so high," I whispered.
"Are you ready to try?" Mommy asked.
I nodded. Mommy sat at the top of the slide and pulled me onto her lap. She pushed with her body. Little flips went through my tummy, causing me to giggle, and Mommy started to giggle too.
"Can we do that again?" I asked Mommy when we got to the bottom.
"Sure," Mommy said.
We went down several more times, and I giggled every time.
"Mommy, can I try it on my own now?" I asked after the fourth time we went down.
"That'd be okay with me, honey." Mommy gave me a light squeeze. "I'll watch with Grandma and Grandpa."
I made my way up to the top of the slide again, and pushed myself off of the top.
"Watch me, Mommy and Grandma!" I said.
"We're watching, sweetie," Grandma replied.
I went fast, too fast. Before I knew it, I was at the bottom. I put my hands out to catch me, but it didn't work, and I fell. My knee stung terribly, so did my hands. Cold hands touched me, and I froze when I saw who was touching me. It was Carlisle.
"Please, let me help you," he said. "I can tell you're bleeding."
"Okay," I whispered.
He picked me up and carried me to the car. He opened the back door and sat me down. He pulled out a white box from under the front seat. Opening it, he pulled out a band-aid, cotton ball, and small white bottle.
"I'm going to rub some rubbing alcohol on your cut," Carlisle explained, taking the lid off of the bottle. "It'll sting a little."
He put the cotton ball to the bottle and turned it over. Then he rubbed the cotton ball on my cut. It burned me a little, and I flinched.
"I'm sorry, sweetie. I need to kill all of the germs," Carlisle said.
"Because you're a doctor?" I whispered.
"Yes, my dear." Carlisle chuckled.
"My tummy feels warm when you call me that," I said without thinking, and then I covered my mouth with my hands.
"I'm glad you feel that way, my dear," Carlisle said with a big smile.
He pulled out the band-aid and put it on my knee.
"There you go, Arian. Good as new," Grandpa said.
"Thank you," I whispered.
Could I ask him this? Would he play with me?
"Would you go down the slide with me?" I whispered slowly.
"I'd love that." Carlisle gave me a big smile again.
We went to the top of slide, holding hands, much like Mommy and I did. His hands were big, but not as big as Daddy's. They held me safely as we went down the slide. I giggled when we didn't get to the bottom.
"Oh, that was fun," I whispered to Grandpa.
"May I go down the slide with you again?" he asked.
"May we go on the swings instead?" I asked.
"Of course, my dear."
He carried me to the swings. Sitting me on his lap, he wrapped one arm around me and held on to the chain of the swing with his other hand.
"Are you ready?" he asked.
"Yes," I told him, holding onto this arm tightly.
He pushed off with his feet, and we went backwards before swinging forward. Each time we swung back and forth, we went higher and higher.
"Mommy, are you watching me?" I yelled.
"Yes, baby, I see you," Mommy said from the bench.
I started to giggle, covering my mouth with my hand. It was fun to swing.
"Grandpa, we're so high!" I said.
"Are you afraid?" he asked.
"No, I like it, Grandpa. Higher, Grandpa!"
"Anything for you, my dear."
And he made me feel very loved.