Grandpa’s house with the grandkids.
The kids look at the clock and groan. It’s still a long time until the festivities begin.
It’s hard to remember what it’s like to be 5 or 9 or 10 when the waiting was interminable. It was still mid-afternoon, a couple of hours before the rest of the cousins would arrive, and my dad’s house doesn’t have internet or kid movies to plug in. Papa Max had already taken them to the barn to see the owls and pigeons, and we’d played a round of Mexican dominoes.
What can we do now, Mimi?
Since my sister and I had food things to do in the kitchen, I did what any Mimi would do – I sent the kiddos on a treasure hunt. Outdoors. In the cold.
Their quest: See who could find the best treasures on Great-grandpa Mike’s thirty-five acres without disturbing the horses. Or the chickens. Other than that, they were free to roam the barren, drought-parched land where even the tumbleweed were half the size of normal this year. Papa Max would keep an eye out to make sure they stayed in the perimeter.
The littlest one brought me her treasures one by one. A pine cone. A feather. A twig with pine needles attached. I exclaimed over each one and sent her back to find more.
Later, with the kitchen temporarily under control, the kids shouted they were ready! And what treasures they’d unearthed!
There were prizes, of course, and the top two were chosen to be the elves and pass out the packages later in the evening.
What I learned.
Kids can still find fun in the great outdoors and are keen observers and finders of rare treasures.
Some treasures that we overlook actually make a wonderful addition to a completed collection.
Nature – even a bleak winter day still has beauty and interest and texture that speaks of a wondrous creator.
Grandkids are, themselves, treasures.
With the year 2013 still newborn and full of potential, I’m hopeful that there are treasures to be unearthed – things I’ve not even imagined that will bring delight to me and those I love this year. Many people have a special word for the year – a word that beckons and challenges them in new ways throughout the year. I’m intrigued by that and found that last year – even though I didn’t declare a specific word – the one that I needed was FOCUS. And while I didn’t always succeed, it was a worthwhile word to ponder, to keep handy in my pocket when the stresses of being a writer seemed to pull me in many directions.
Before Christmas, my word for 2013 came to me without me really thinking about it, and I latched onto it. BALANCE. Oh, how I yearn for that in my life – a deeper walk with God, strengthening my relationships with friends and family, being available as a wife, a mom, a Mimi, a friend, a sister, a daughter. Being able to laugh and work in the kitchen with my sister while creating a treasure hunt for my grandchildren. And celebrating their creativity and tender spirits.
What it all comes down to, I think, is that I don’t want to be so self-focused on the necessary (and yes, worthwhile) tasks of writing and marketing that I miss out on the important things of life – the treasures of family and friends and whatever God has in store for 2013.
Do you have a special word for the year? Perhaps you make goals and resolutions. I’d love to hear about them!
Have a healthy, happy, blessed NEW YEAR!