Mario Joseph got stuck with his mama and papa the last three days while Maria partied with Alana and Grandma Ionno in Marion. But he managed to have a decent time with us, I think. We spent Wednesday night eating Cheese-Its and chocolates while playing Three Little Pigs. Three Little Pigs is a card game like crazy eights but with the characters from the Three Little Pigs story. They were my grandma’s playing cards, and when she died last March, I begged to keep them. Now every time I deal them out to Ri and Mario, I think of her playing the game with me at their age. I don’t ever remember her telling me that she wouldn’t play with me. She was always ready for a hand.
Mario places his cards on the chair next to him because he can’t hold them all in his hand. He loves to win, imagine that, and usually does with me. He rubs it in for a few minutes and then says “that’s ok, mom, I will play you again and see if you can win the next time.”
Wednesday morning and afternoon were rough because it was snowing like crazy outside and we were stuck in the house. We watched some tv, played on the iPad, played Wii, read some books, and Mario amused me with his imaginary play. We even got in a nap in the middle of the day, or I should say that I got in a nap while Mario watched SpongeBob for an hour. Mario kept saying “it’s ok, mom, you need your sleep, you can keep sleeping.”
Thursday was much better. The snow laid thick in our yard and the sun shined bright. It was cold enough to keep the snow from melting but sunny enough to not feel frozen when you walked outside. We walked to the library to find a Wii game and then walked to the park with our plastic sled. The park was awesome. There was only one other person on the hill with his two kids and we got to sled down non-stop for an hour. Mario wanted me to go with him the first two times, and I must admit that I was a tad hesitant to go on our tiny red plastic slide. Last time I went with Ri, I broke it. But the sled held up well, and we laughed hysterically as we sled down the hill. Mario decided he wanted to go by himself the remainder of the time. I sat at the bottom of the hill (or the top depending on whether Mario wanted me to walk up with him) and smiled incessantly as I watched Mario speed down the hill. I think sled riding is an activity that you can’t help but feel good watching. Everyone has huge smiles on their faces and thrill in their hearts as they descend the hill. It lifted my spirits and when we left, I felt a bit lighter in my step.
We returned later in the afternoon for more fun and the hill was packed with people. The snow had all but disintegrated and the green grass poked through. But people were still flying down on their sleds so Mario and I jumped in the fray. Mario took all of the sledders by storm and whisked past them landing ten feet farther than all of them. He was mighty proud of that achievement.
Jon picked us up and we headed home to shovel the sidewalk and build a snowman. Mario and I made a sad little snowman that looked like someone had flattened it with a large griddle. We used carrots for its eyes and nose and a “v” shaped stick for its mouth. Mario was happy with it so that is all that mattered. We came inside for the night, ate macaroni and cheese and fell asleep at 7:30 on the recliner chair. Jon nudged me, and I walked Mario up to our bed at 8:15. I had big plans of heading back down to hang with Jon but Mario woke up when I put him in bed and begged me to lay with him. I was back out in five minutes and woke up again at 11:30 pm with Mario snuggled up in my chest, his forehead laying perfectly on the bottom of my neck. Pure heaven.