Talk to the Hand

Different Strokes ~ The grandkids are here most Friday nights. Now that he’s older, Satchel sleeps in the downstairs bedroom while Temple still sleeps with me. She wants a Taser for her birthday. Here’s the difference between these two…

He was three the first time he spent the night (she was not yet born) and he gently taps my shoulder and whispers next to me in the dark, “Oma, there’s a noise in the room.”
I say, “I’m sorry honey, am I snoring?”
He says softly, “I think so.”
I say, “You have to fall asleep before me, okay?”
He whispers back, “Okay. I’ll try.”

The first time she slept with me at that same age, I got a karate chop to the back of my head.
“WHAT?!?” I screech, sitting bolt upright, now wide awake.
She barks, “I can’t sleep! You’re snoring!”
Cheesus. She’ll love the Taser.

Basketball 2013

A Three-Pointer ~ “Oma, I don’t think my coach likes me.”
“He’s not very nice to me, he hollers, and I hardly get to play.”
“Listen, I’m going to give you some advice. First off, quit taking it personally. He’s your coach and that’s what coaches do. He’s not there to be your friend. And, what if he really is a mean guy. So? There’s lots of mean guys in the world. Maybe he’s preparing you for real life so when the day comes that a teacher or boss is not nice to you, it won’t come as such a shock. Buck up, not everyone’s going to treat you like the fair-haired child.
As I watch him take this in, I add, “Look, Satch, some coaches are better with kids then others. If he gets really mean, you let me know. I’ll march out on the court and take care of him.”
“No, Oma, no, it’s okay. Please, I don’t I want you to talk to him.”
“I thought that might be the case.”

The Hand That’s Dealt You ~ We’re playing Go Fish on my living room floor.
Satchel (age 11) has dealt.
Temple (age 6) is waiting for instructions.
Satchel tells her, “Pick up your hand.”
In dead seriousness, she lifts her right hand and hovers it at arm’s length, palm down, over the cards on the floor in front of her, as if we’re at a seance.
He rolls his eyes, slaps himself on the forehead, and falls over backwards in disbelief. “Ohmygod! Why do I have to have her for a sister?”
I’m doing my best not to snort my brains out my nose because she does NOT like to be laughed at. I pick up her cards, fan them, and tuck them in her hand for her.
We don’t explain. It’s better that way.
November 2014

Kitchen Wisdom ~ While fixing breakfast together, Temple announces, “Oma, we should open a restaurant.”
I tell her, “Sure, I’ll be the prep cook because I’m the one who knows how to measure, and you can be the one who pours and stirs and flips.”
“I can only work two days a week during the summer though,” she responds, “because I have swim lessons.”
December 2014

Talk to the Hand ~ It’s Saturday morning. As Temple unloads the silverware from the dishwasher she announces that the drawer is a mess. I offer to have her straighten it. She wants to know why I have five pairs of reading glasses in there. I tell her that’s where they hide, which is why I’m always buying new ones. She rolls her eyes. When she’s done, I offer to have her straighten two more. She’s appalled that they’re also in a jumble. After ten minutes she has them in great order. I had things in there that not only had I never used, I wasn’t even sure what they were for. She proudly shows me both drawers, faces me and spreads her arms like guardian angel wings to protect them, admonishing me that I’m no longer allowed to go in either, and if I do, they’d better look like this next time she’s here. I tell her to talk to the hand. Sheesh.
May 2015

© 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. Catherine Sevenau.
All rights reserved.


  1. Mari Baughman says

    You just made my day. Thank you for the joy you share!

  2. Sigh. Maybe one day I’ll get a precious grands. Son is 30 & daughter is 28. Until then I’ll live vicariously through your memories. I did rescue a baby kitty @ 2 weeks old. She gives me endless giggles. She’s funny.

  3. Geoffrey Elliot says

    On point as usual, Catherine. Beautiful vignettes that reveal so much about these wonderful kids and your priceless relationship with them. You, and they, are fortunate to have each other!

  4. Susan Dalberg says

    I love that roll their eyes look at me, wondering how I manage to stay alive. I have a junk drawer that hasn’t been emptied in ten years. But…I know where everything is. Can’t nag at them about their messy drawers:) Thanks for the laugh!!

  5. Maybe Satchel’s coach was mean because of his long hair? Brave kid to wear it like he wants!

    • Nah, I don’t think so. Satchel was such a sweet kid and so well-liked that he seldom got in trouble. It took a couple of seasons for his future coaches to get him to quit apologizing when he fouled any of opposing players. It drove Jon (his uncle who was his coach the next season), and Phil Rosemurgy (who also coached both Matt and Jon in high school) crazy. They’d make him foul on purpose just to get used to it, but it took a while. Now the kid has his black belt.

  6. Marian Clemens says

    I’m still laughing!

  7. Norman Rockwell with words. Only feistier.

  8. Catherine, these are the most precious conversations in the whole world. Thanks so much for sharing yours with Temple. I remember so many with Sam and Lucy. It is automatic joy. Just love it ~ and them. Carole

  9. Marguerite says

    Catherine thank you for the chuckles! You have such a wonderful way of telling stories – I feel as though I’m in the scene with you – and of course laughing my a– off! Marguerite

    • Renea Magnani says

      ahhh grandchildren. Reminds me of how much fun mine has with my mother. Thank you.

  10. Aren’t granddaughters wonderful!

  11. Adore the snippets of life with the grandchildren. They make me smile

  12. Just one chuckle after another! Very fun and shows your grandkids are just as smart and clever as you are.

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