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May 12, 2018 90 0 Connie Beckman
Evangelize

Enjoying Summer Through a Child’s Eyes

My grandson, Josh, who lives some 200 miles away spent one week with us in Helena, montana, at our home last summer. Josh is a twelve year-old who enjoys the adventure of exploring his world with child-like wonder.

Josh and I decided each day we would explore places we had not been. Our first adventure found us at Spring meadow Lake, renting a paddle boat and trying our luck at fishing. Spring meadow Lake is a small lake surrounded by plentiful trees nestled on the outskirts of Helena. For the people of Helena, it is a wonderful place to enjoy an outing with family and friends while sunbathing, swimming and fishing.

Josh truly longed to catch a fish. I decided I would be the captain of the ship and direct this voyage out into the deep blue sea. He found a perfect secluded place to fish, baited his hook and dropped his line in the water. “Grandma, I can see fish! Look, there are a millions of them!” He got so excited we almost tipped the paddle boat. He could watch the fish nibble at his worm and then he would give it a little jerk and, low and behold, he caught a fish. I just sat there and giggled and giggled at his excitement of catching his first fish.

As a matter of fact, he caught seven fish that day. He landed two bass and five sunfish. We placed all seven fish in the bucket of water. During this time as captain of the fishing vessel I let go of my adult-structured world and entered his world of adventure and awe—I became a care-free child once again.

He was yelling out orders to Captain Grandma: “Paddle this way there are more fish over there!” “No paddle over there I see bigger fish!” “Grandma, turn the boat around because I thought I saw a huge one over there.” Finally, he looked up at me and said, “Grandma I don’t mean to be so bossy but I am just excited. I’ve never caught a fish before. I can’t help it!” I just smiled. It was so much fun watching him tackle this new adventure with such remarkable enthusiasm.

Josh is a very tenderhearted lad. When it was time to return the paddle boat, I asked him, “Do you want to release the fish or take them home for dinner tonight? He looked perplexed and finally blurted out, “I have a great idea. Let us bring them home to Grandpa’s outdoor fish pond.” Caught up in his excitement I quickly agreed. “Won’t Grandpa be surprised!” he exclaimed, giggling as he carefully placed the bucket of fish in the car.

The fishermen and the fish arrived safely home. Josh carefully placed the seven fish in the pond. The outdoor fishpond is rather small, so it was a bit overcrowded. But at least in Josh’s view of things, the fish were still alive and not going to be someone’s dinner that night. Grandpa chuckled at Josh’s effort at making sure the fish were spared.

The next day I asked Josh what adventure he wanted to embark upon for the day. He said Spring meadow Lake. So back to Spring meadow Lake we went again and each day he was here. On the last trip to Spring meadow Lake Josh decided to return the fish to the lake because, according to Josh, it was not fair for the fish to live in such a small pond when they were used to a huge home in the lake.

As he released the fish, I admired his kindness and care of God’s creatures. I am not sure if he will grow up to be a big game hunter or great fisherman but I do know that he will bless the world with his kindness.

The week ended all too soon and my adventure with my grandson quickly came to an end.

Looking back on our adventure, I was blessed beyond blessed. I had given my grandson a precious gift of my time and attention. In turn, my grandson reminded me to always keep my heart filled with childlike wonder. I also know that this precious time spent with my grandson is tenderly tucked away in my heart to stay. When I begin to take my adult life too seriously, I close my eyes and picture myself with my grandson, enjoying life through a child’s eyes.

Reflection: Make a commitment to spend time with your children and grandchildren, whether that is through phone calls, text messages, emails or in person. They will treasure the memories of this special time together. It does not cost any money but it is more precious to a child and to our adult children than silver, gold or diamonds.

Connie Beckman

© resides in Helena Montana with her husband and their four cats and dog. She is an active member of the Cathedral of Saint Helena. She is a member of the Catholic Writer's Guild and a small Catholic Writer's Group in Helena that meets monthly. She is a former editor and feature story writer for a small bi-weekly newspaper. Connie has been published in a number of Catholic magazines. Her desire as a writer is to encourage Catholic spiritual growth by sharing the truths of the Catholic faith. Connie shares her joy and love of God at her website www.conniescatholiccorner.com. Originally published in “The Family Digest Magazine”. Reprinted with permission.

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