“Making Mrs. Martin’s Day,” Friend, Mar. 2005, 28–29
“Are we going to make someone’s day today?” David asked as he fastened himself in his car seat.
“We’re going to try to make someone’s day,” Mother answered.
Mother buckled baby Jeffrey into his car seat. Jeffrey squealed his let’s-get-going squeal.
“Who are we going to surprise?” David asked.
“Remember Mrs. Martin?” Mother said. “She just got home from the hospital.”
“I can sing for her,” David said. “Singing helps people feel better.”
“Mrs. Martin will enjoy hearing your songs,” Mother said. The car stopped. Jeffrey squealed his get-me-out squeal.
“May I carry the cinnamon bread?” David asked.
“Sure.” Mother laid the loaf of bread in David’s arms, then unbuckled Jeffrey.
David breathed in the buttery, cinnamony smell. He felt the bread warm his arms and hands.
Knock, knock, knock.
“Come in,” a quiet voice called. Mother opened the door.
Jeffrey tried to grab the bread. He squealed his let-me-have-it squeal.
“Well, look who’s here,” Mrs. Martin whispered from her chair.
“Hi, Mrs. Martin,” David said. “Here’s some cinnamon bread for you, and it’s swirly inside. I sprinkled on the cinnamon.”
“Thank you, young man,” Mrs. Martin said. “I love cinnamon bread.”
David put the bread in the kitchen so Jeffrey couldn’t get it.
“We came to help a bit,” Mother said. She held Mrs. Martin’s hand while they talked about hospitals and medicine.
Jeffrey pulled himself up to the low table by the couch and pushed off all the papers. David picked them up.
A few minutes later Mother started washing dishes. After David dried the knives and forks and spoons, he plunked them into the drawer bins. Jeffrey tugged on his mother’s pant leg.
Mother swept the floor, and David held the dustpan. Jeffrey squealed his let-me-do-it squeal. So she helped Jeffrey dump the dustpan.
Mother tied up the trash, and all three of them carried it outside. David and Mother put a new plastic bag in the wastebasket. Jeffrey pulled a long train of bags out of the box. He squealed his see-what-I-can-do squeal.
Mrs. Martin laughed.
“Is it time to sing now?” David asked.
“It’s always time to sing,” Mrs. Martin said.
David sang “Two Little Blackbirds” while Jeffrey’s thumbs helped with the actions.
Then David did the actions as he sang, “Eency weency spider went up the water spout.” Jeffrey made a pretend spider climb up his arm, too.
David, Mother, and Jeffrey danced in a circle and sang:
“Happy helpers sing a song,
Happy helping all day long.
Happy helpers help you, too.
(They pointed to Mrs. Martin.)
Happy helpers now are through.”
Then all three happy helpers fell to the floor and laughed.
Mrs. Martin clapped a clap so tiny that no sound came with it. But a big smile did. She opened her arms to hug all three helpers.
“You have made my day,” Mrs. Martin said. l