Last night, right before bed my daughter shared a special gift with me. It was not wrapped in a pretty package, and was not something that I could hold, eat, wear or look at, yet it was a precious gift; a gift that makes your eyes fill with tears and your heart swell with love and gratitude. Gratitude for time well spent and a gift that will be forever held in my heart.
As many of you may remember, Joe and I had the privilege of home-schooling our ten year old grandson; for one semester. It was something that he had been begging his mother to do and something that we felt would be a “once in a lifetime” experience for all of us. It wasn't always easy, and I was often exhausted and exasperated, but knowing how much it meant to him; it was worth it.
In my opinion, there is nothing more important than relationships. Investing time and effort into our children’s and grandchildren’s lives’, as well as our own, is priceless. Life is meant to be lived and to be shared and we will be remembered for the memories that we created, not by the things that we own, or the vehicles that we drove.
The gift of time is not something that can be replaced with electronic devices or toys and as parents and grandparents we only have a short window of time in which to nurture, guide and enrich our children. It is our “job” to give our children the tools that they will need to be prepared to build the best life that they can, for themselves and their own children. I am honored to have been able to allow a little boy the experience to be able to write the following paper for an assignment that was “An Important Time in His Life.”
In Jack’s own words:
It was the year 2012. I was 9 years old, and my baby brother was almost one year old. At the time, I disliked him because he was annoying. Because of so, I preferred to stay in my room, or go outside more, to try and avoid him. A few months later, it was December. I got sick of going to public school, so I begged my mom for days to home school me. But one day she had finally said yes.
I was so happy, I started jumping with joy. But instead of home schooling me herself, she said my grandparents would in Idaho. I was even more happy, but I realized, I had to say goodbye to all my friends and family for 6 months. I had made the decision, and decided I would go. A month later, it was January, my birthday had just passed, and it was time to say goodbye. Once I did, I was excited to finally go. Later, once I got there, I was picked up, and taken to their house. Once I got there, I realized that where I was, was nothing like what I had ever seen before in California. It was beautiful, I was blown away of what was before me. The whole neighborhood was even called "Osprey".
The view of my front porch was like watching God's front yard. What nature was in front of me there was a "V shape" of two mountains close to each other. One had many trees and another had less. For the neighborhood it's self was outstanding. Instead of flatland on a street, this whole neighborhood, was on a mountain. That's right, a whole mountain. for a road, there was a trail that marked tracks for a road, no concrete, just dirt. People owned horses, and the neighborhood was even bumpy, with small hills, my backyard led to a hiking trail, and there were no street lights, no light pollution, and at night, there is only one noise that we hear. The most astonishing, most unique feature about this place, is the fact that we have in Osprey, Elk. Every single night, there are always elk. We always hear them calling, their footsteps, and even when they eat grass. This whole neighborhood struck my heart with wonders. I never wanted to go back home. This was my home.
While I was there, I made two friends. they were both nice, and I still contact them today. During winter we had to stack wood because it was snowy. All was great though.
Throughout the months, I was doing great in home school. I was going through it very fast, I knew it would end well. On May 21st, I had finished my year, I hadn't but to believe it. I was so amazed at the fact that being homeschooled, in such a beautiful place, would help me finish early.
But eventually, It was time, I had to leave. I was trying to find a good way to convince my grandparents to stay but, it wouldn't work. I had to say goodbye to everything there. It was so hard, but I did. When I got back, I saw why I was so surprised of Idaho, why it was so difficult to believe. It was because where I live now, is not peaceful, not beautiful, and not settling. No elk, no peace, and no relaxing. Here in South California, I seem to feel sad, depressed, and lonely. With my friends gone, I don't have to many others to contact, and get together with. School hits me the most though. Which is why I think of Idaho as the one place to go after a long, exhausting, period of school.