“They say genes tend to skip generations.Maybe that is why
grandparents find their grandchildren so likeable.”
A sense of wonder is an integral part of a child’s spirit. Yet in our modern technological world, it is easily diminished. We should do everything possible to keep that spirit alive, not only in our children but within ourselves. When we encourage our children to develop a sense of responsibility we realize these two concepts are not that different. Discovering the wonders our world has to offer is often part of our “responsibility” to it.
To often the desire to have things “right now” take precedence over what could be the pride and satisfaction we feel when our patience and perseverance enable us to accomplish what we set out to do. The development of personal responsibility and knowing that the actions and decisions we make today do have consequences is an important concept at any age!
“Grandchildren are a grandparent’s link to the future, and Grandparents are a child’s link to the past.”
1 9 5 6
WORLD SERIES HISTORY
The voice we were listening to was coming out of that technological miracle called the transistor radio. The sports announcer for the New York Yankees, Mel Allen, was giving us the play-by-play of game five of the World Series. A group of us had gathered outside of school that sunny afternoon in October to listen as Don Larsen of the New York Yankees would make history by pitching the first perfect game in World Series history. The Yankees would go on to win the series over the Brooklyn Dodgers in the seventh game. Mickey Mantle hit 52 home runs that year and finished with a .358 batting average. We couldn’t have been happier, since in 1956, life was good and this just made it better.
I walked home from school that day with my best friend and there was an added “spring” in our steps. We had not forgotten about our plans to explore the woods in a remote area near our respective homes. We were excited and had absolutely no idea what we would find.What we didn’t know was just how exciting our discoveries would be, what mother nature had in store for us, or how our adventure would become something we would never forget!
The days and weeks ahead would provide us with memories and experiences we would someday tell our grandchildren about!
Mountains are symbolic to “challenge” and there was nothing my grandson and I liked more than a good challenge. He had demonstrated his ability to see things in his “mind’s eye” and create them from there. Children show these creative and imaginative abilities when they are given opportunities to use them. We felt as though we were standing on the summit of a mountain we had just climbed.
Topographical features, landforms, mountain streams, vocabulary, scale, imagination, and creativity all come to mind when I think back to that day. The blessing that is my grandson is what I am thankful for every day. The titles we value the most are “Grandson” and “Grandpa.”
Many people look to the future and truly believe that the problems we currently face will only get worse. They feel powerless to change it and believe that there is little they can do and have an overwhelming sense of dread for what lies ahead. Read the quote below if you fall into this category.
“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to
uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”
Do you look to the future with overwhelming pessimism and say “things will never be as good in this world as they once were?” If you answered yes, I can only say you haven’t seen the twinkle in my grandson’s eye, his infectious sense of wonder, extraordinary common sense, and phenomenal character! He is the future and the world is a much better place with him in it.
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.
“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.”
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!
The sight, sound and power of rushing water cascading off a cliff has a mesmerizing effect on us. The beauty the tens of thousands of waterfalls nature provides us with is truly something to behold. If you are planning a model railroad layout be sure to include one on it. Make sure you provide a mountain with the appropriate stream and pond below for your waterfall to empty into. They are not as difficult to build and crystal clear caulk which you will streak with white paint does the trick!