Our two LA city grandchildren have been coming up to visit for most every spring break since they were two years old. Since Jaden is 18, that is nearly 16 years—interrupted a couple of times for a larger family trip, including one year to South Korea. This spring is the last time they will come together because Jaden will be in college next year.
Their mother and father no longer escort them. They have grown into two fine young people who are remarkably helpful and competent. And, since they like to earn money, our weeklong time has gone from a focus on entertainment to an opportunity to learn some outdoor chores—not something they get to do in their LA apartment.
Nature exploration has always been a part of granny camp
Of course, we always get out to explore nature. This time a campfire and hike with our friends and theirs, Nicole and Janet. And that’s the thing: our friends have become theirs over the years. (I don’t have photos of all the adults they spent time with, but you know who you are and your presence in their lives means a lot.) Community has been an important part of their time with us.
Outdoor chores for pay had a big appeal
Because we live rurally, there are many opportunities for outdoor chores—planting the first seeds in the spring garden, splitting wood to dry for next winter, and raking up debris from under our big Douglas fir trees.
Daily circles and evening board games balanced out their experience
Time indoors cooking together, drawing animal cards for our morning circles, playing board games in the evening, and, of course, playing with Vivi filled our days. The weather was more challenging than usual, but we persevered.
Looking for colleges with Jaden
An added element at the end of this year’s time in our home was taking Jaden to visit Sonoma State University—one of three college acceptances he has gotten.
If there is any greater privilege than having an opportunity to pour love, encouragement, skills and possibilities into a young person, I don’t know what it might be. Thank you, Sally and Joe, for entrusting us with your beautiful children.