While the emotionally-charged book Tuesday with Morrie made it big for author Mitch Albom, I feel I have a masterpiece that could certainly share shelf space with that great book. Mine would be titled Wednesdays with Jack and the only tears you would be moved to shed would be those which fall from gales of laughter.
When I started babysitting Jack and his two sisters, he was just 2 and loved to play hide and seek with me. His birthday cake on April 28 carried four twinkling candles and I have watched this little fellow’s personality bloom over time. Jack’s personality has blossomed with, apparently, an enormous dose of fertilizer, because I have never seen a little guy with such sparkle, an incredible larger-than-life personality.
Today, Jack greeted me at his door before I could even knock, dressed in bib overalls, a John Deere shirt, a farm cap and a John Deere lunch box. He even showed me his John Deere handkerchief tucked in his back pocket.
“Did you bring your barn? And your tractors? And your animals?” was his first question to me. He was happy to see the answer was yes. After we did a little bit of living room farming, he said to me, “I know! We are going to play church today. You have to help me get my Sunday school clothes on. Hurry!”
Dress pants, button-down shirt, tie, sweater vest and suit coat — right down to the black shoes and socks and black cell phone tucked neatly in to his suit coat pocket — made up his preacher outfit. “I look handsome, don’t I?” Jack asked, as he nodded his own little head in agreement and straightened his tie as a much older man would do.
“If anybody calls for me, tell them I am the preacher today and I am too busy to do any other stuff,” he instructed me. Jack led his congregation in to the den. “This is going to be our church. Now, baby, you have to be very, very quiet!” he instructed his little sister Kennedy. To his big sister Lacey, he said, “I need a book. Find me a book!” Lacey, an obedient member of the little flock, found her brother a small, blank notebook.
Church was about to begin
The little preacher man slowly turned the pages of his good book, then turned to us and said, “Good morning!” We all smiled and said “good morning” in return. Preacher Jack then instructed those of us in the congregation to “turn to page 3444B and sing along!”
His head back, his little notebook opened to blank pages, Jack loudly sang, “Jesus went up the mountain, Jesus loved all His people, Jesus showed the way.” Jack stepped away for a moment to straighten his tie, then said, “Now we are going to sing the second verse. Sing along with me!” He then sang in the same tune with gusto, “Jesus went up the mountain. Jesus got in the hot tub. Jesus said OUCH, this water is too hot!” That was the end of the song.
Only the beginning
It was only the beginning of the energetic morning. Before all was said and done, Jack had become a pro basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers in full NBA dress, then a rodeo guy with “rodeo-in’ to do,” a flower picker, a worker in the family business, a professional dancer (his big sister’s idea) and decided he had time to be my husband when it came time to fix lunch.
These all required a very quick change of clothes and since I am apparently the costume assistant, I was called upon to help. “This is just for pretend,” Jack whispered to me at one point in our busy morning. “But later, I get to cut wood with my Daddy, and that is for real!” This, of course, required another change of clothes.
If you don’t feel you need to take extra vitamins just reading this adventure story, then you are a stronger person than I am!
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