I have discovered the secret to creating a magical childhood. No, it’s not Pinterest.
Several times a year, we visit a wondrous land, one you may have heard of. It’s called Wisconsin. For my kids, it holds mythic measures of delight. It is filled with berries growing on bushes, apples on trees, and cookies on counters. There are trees for climbing, riding mowers for driving, and paints for crafting. The tractor and wagon are always available for a hay ride. There are bikes for every size child. And melons, too. A certain gentleman has even been known to use a half cantaloupe as an ice cream bowl.This land is green as far as the eye can see. Doting and indulging extend even further. There is no hurry, only fun. The sky is wide, and so are the grandparents’ schedules. You can paint pumpkins or shoot rockets with Papa. Chalk the driveway and silly string the cars. The popsicles are limitless, and you can count on chicken noodle soup for lunch and hot pancakes for breakfast. Even the peas taste good here.
The wonders of my kids’ childhood extend even beyond Wisconsin, if you can believe it. They get to visit another magical world, too—where time is marked by trips for frozen yogurt. In this land, there is always someone available to play a game or watch your newly created show.
Meemie will look in your eyes and listen closely to all you want to say. You will feel like the funniest, most clever child to ever grace the earth. Grandpop has never seen a kid he deemed slow, uncoordinated, or not bright. His praise is regular; it even includes clapping for every meal that arrives from Meemie’s kitchen. What’s more, the grandparents’ doting is matched by the dog’s.
There are classic children’s books on the shelves and costume jewelry in the toy box. Chances are good you’ll get cinnamon rolls for breakfast and brownies for dessert. Here, the legal pads, sticky notes, and highlighters are limitless.
What parent could even hope to add to such magic? Ditch the intricate craft ideas and specially shaped snacks—just hand your kids over to their grandparents, if you can.
I know not every family has available or doting grandparents. It is a deep blessing we take not for granted to have available and doting grandparents. We know how rich we are. For those who share this blessing, though, it is all the wonder you need. No more is required for a magical, memorable childhood.
©2016, Laura Goetsch and Thinking about Such Things.