Every summer for the past eight years, my grandchildren gift me with precious rocks
It started when my oldest grandchild, Boo, was four. Boo, Duckie, and I took a hike across the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes on Lake Michigan. We thought the beach was just over the first dune, then it was the second dune. For sure the beach must be beyond the third dune. After that, it seemed better to move forward than to turn back.
Ah, what sweet relief after what seemed like a half a lifetime of walking, we reached flat land and the shoreline. Still, we had more walking along the shore to meet the rest of our party, who took the car to the beach.
Boo began to pick up pretty rocks.
“Take what you want, but you must carry them all yourself,” I said.
Boo filled his T-shirt with rocks.
“They are too heavy,” his eyes started to tear up.
“I told you, you can only take what you can carry.”
He soldiered on, going slower; stumbling a little.
His mother will be happier if he leaves those rocks behind, I thought. Boo added more.
We were almost at our destination. I could see the sun-bathers in the distance. Boo slowed to a stop, sat in the sand, and rested.
“G-Mom,” he said looking up at me. “These rocks will look so pretty by your pond.”
It was my turn to cry.
A tradition was born: costing nothing, meaning everything.
A tradition is born: costing nothing, meaning everything.