There are many things you can do with your children and grandchildren. Building a bird house or a bird feeder is a gift that keeps on giving. They are simple to build and I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t enjoy watching our colorful feathered friends. You can make it as simple or as complex as you want and you are limited only by your imagination. The lessons learned and the time spent with your children or grandchildren are priceless! I have included some links below just to help you get started.
He was dressed in his deep red suit trimmed in white with a wide black belt. His almost white hair and beard flowed majestically from his face and his spectacles were perched just low enough on his nose to allow him to see over them. His shiny black boots contrasted with his red cap and matched his belt perfectly. We watched as he sat in his plush red velvet chair in anticipation of receiving his young guests, much the same way you might imagine a king would receive his subjects. Today Santa would listen to requests from all children regarding their wishes for Christmas. Today he was royalty to all who came and made their wishes known to him!
Together we had worked very hard to make our layout a reality. My grandson was dreaming about that spectacular engine we had seen and he planned to ask Santa for it for Christmas. Would Santa make his dream come true? Would all of our hard work pay off? Only time would provide the answers.
We found our research into every facet of the history and the building of our project immensely fascinating. We were thoroughly enjoying ourselves and that was not likely to change. During the first few months my grandson had read several books on the great railroads and how they changed America. We had been on hundreds of web sites together and had gained an appreciation for just how much the railroads affected the way people lived, worked and played. The educational opportunities our journey presented us with seemed almost limitless. Our combined enthusiasm would become the key to unlocking countless new doors into a world of exciting experiences we never dreamed were possible. My grandson and I also learned that if we were going to achieve all of our goals we would have to have a great deal of patience and perseverance!
When we were young children we really had no obligations and time seemed to pass more slowly. When our parents or especially our grandparents made time for us, it validated something we already knew. They were quite possibly the only people who fully understood the concept of time itself! As Grandparents, it is understandable why we wish to make time slow down. We live in a world that has become very fast-paced and we sometimes neglect the things in life that really matter. Looking back on our lives we come to the conclusion that some things should never be neglected. Perhaps it is for this reason we realize what a blessing our grandchildren really are! They are our link to the future and we are their link to the past and there is nothing greater than spending time with them now…in the present ! Become the pilot and make the precious time we have with our children and grandchildren overflowing with memories and experiences they will never forget!
We knew the memories we were creating together would last a lifetime. These are the “snapshots in time” we hold so dear. We discussed many times during the course of our “journey” how they would serve as a basis for the next generation to create memories of their own. Samy and I vowed to do our best to make that happen. This is the reason that one generation should stand on the shoulders of the one preceding it. It makes possible that which we previously thought was not!
I could not help but remember that the hands holding two by four lumber that day, were those that belonged to an infant who not that long ago, clasped his tiny hand around my finger for the first time and changed my life forever!
“I like the one where he doesn’t miss the boat because it seems happier” my grandson said without hesitation.
“What if he did not miss the boat on his second attempt and the boat had trouble at sea and this man was responsible for saving many lives?”
“Now I don’t know which story I like….this gets confusing!”
“Time travel or how an event in the past affects subsequent events has been written about for years. You must admit we talked about a time machine and what we would do with it if we had one.”
My grandson began to have one of his “light bulb moments” and gave me his thoughts on what can be a difficult concept to grasp at any age! Never underestimate a young person’s ability to break down the most difficult concepts. Give them the opportunity and you will always be amazed at their conclusions and perspective on a given topic. More importantly – give them your “time.”
It was the early nineteen hundreds and a man was planning to make the journey from Europe to America to establish a home for himself. When he arrived at the dock he found out that the boat had sailed long before his arrival. He was extremely disappointed and did not try again until years later. This is the first version of the story. There is another version where this same young man does not miss the boat and on the voyage to America, he meets a young woman, falls deeply in love with her and they are later married. They settle in America and raise six children who in turn have children of their own.
We were about to travel back in time over half a century. To say that we were caught completely by surprise would be an understatement. The packing tape had almost completely disintegrated and the treasure we had stumbled upon was indeed very old. We never imagined that what we were now looking at would serve as the beginning of a “journey” that would take us places we never dreamed of going. What lay ahead existed only in our imagination – until now. A very powerful, educational, action-packed adventure began that cold December day. The memories we would create, expeditions we would take, and obstacles we would surmount would become the “Snapshots in Time” that would remain in our hearts forever! Take advantage of that priceless sense of wonder and the excitement your children and grandchildren possess. Always remember you are uniquely qualified to become the best teacher they will ever have!
I overheard a group of 7 – 10 year old children talking about what they received for Christmas. Several of them had received the latest and greatest video games, a couple had received i-pads and each was saying how great they were for playing games. What impressed me the most was the one boy who said rather proudly “I didn’t want any of those for Christmas.” “What!” the others replied. The young boy laughed and said confidently, “A few months from now when your games are replaced by a newer model or broken, my soccer ball and cleats will still be in great shape and so will I.”
Needless to say, I was very impressed. Not only was he willing to risk the peer pressure, but he displayed the wisdom seldom seen in our young today. He managed to turn the conversation about tablets and video games to sports. It became apparent to me that much of what was being said by these children was what they thought the others would want to hear.
And No I am not anti-electronic devices. They have their place and when used appropriately can be very educational. We do however replace actually playing sports with playing games, exercise with sitting on the couch, creating and imagining with clicking and touchscreens. We at the very least need to listen to this young boy and strike a healthy balance. While I am at it parents, the next time you absolutely have to “text” someone, pick up the phone and actually call them!