My husband has let me in on a little covert operation he has been planning for his granddaughters, and it tickles me so much I’ve decided to blog about it. He’s been scheming this thing in his head for months. The first thing he did to get the ball rolling was hunt for an appropriate treasure box, which he found at Hobby Lobby, except that it needed a sturdier bottom. It didn’t take much to just attach a piece of wood. He then began filling it with treasures: handfuls of pennies that he spray-painted gold and silver, and a few other miscellaneous discarded junk jewelry pieces that once belonged to his mother – probably things she found at garage sales and never did anything with.
And then this is where I became involved in the delicious conspiracy. He wanted some help coming up with some sort of little story, not a treasure map, but a story that would pique their little interests and ignite some spontaneous junior sleuthing. He thought it would be neat if the story was written on parchment paper and then rolled up and tucked in a bottle with a cork in the top. He planned to place this bottle in a sort of inconspicuous place somewhere along the path by the river where the girls could stumble upon it while outside adventuring with their grandpa.
Now mind you, grandpa has already been out and surveyed where he plans to bury this treasure, and deposit the bottle with the message inside, and he’s also done a fair amount of trail grooming through the tundra of bamboo we have growing along the banks of our river. In fact, as he took me on a tour, he pointed out the clever touches he’s added — like putting googlie eyes on some random stalks of the bamboo, so he can say to the girls, “Do you get the feeling you’re being watched?” And then wait for them to get it! Ha! Ha!
It was this curious little detail that sparked my imagination for a story. I sat down with my trused computer and after a few minutes, this was what I came up with:
THE TRAP HAS BEEN SET!!!!!!!
We are both so excited about this and hoping we can pull it off. Our imaginations are spilling over with delirious day-dreams of how the girls will react. Will they truly believe they’ve found an old old letter in a bottle, and that it leads them to a real buried treasure? I think both our hearts might just burst with excitement. But we’ve got to play it cool. We’ve got to both stay in character, as if nothing whatsoever is up. In fact, I’m just going to stay indoors the day they come over (if I can possibly contain myself) and let grandpa do all the clever charades. I’ll just try to act surprised when they come screaming into the house with stuff in their hands, and talking so fast I can’t even understand them. Hee hee!!!! And we’ll sit down on the floor and I’ll let them tell me all about the letter they found and I’ll let them read it to me, and I’ll let them explain how they looked for the treasure box and where they ended up finding it, and we’ll sort through all the stuff in their box, and I’ll take a group selfie with my cell phone and probably post it on Facebook (and here later, of course), and it will all be grand! Just grand!!!!! (I hope!)
“Children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward.” Psalm 127:3
“As arrows are in the hand of a mighty warrior; so are the children of one’s youth. Happy are the [GRANDPARENTS] whose quiver is full!” Psalm 127:4-5
UPDATE: The plan turned out better than we could have ever anticipated. The girls were delirious with excitement. Oh the sweet faith of a little child to so easily believe … almost makes a person ashamed to exploit it. But how fun to see them with so much enchanted enthusiasm, and to listen to the little wheels turning in their minds trying to solve a puzzle, trying to uncover a mystery, embarking on an epic adventure, and to hear them share their little theories with each other for where to look and why. It was as delightful an experience as any storybook or children’s film that’s ever captured your imagination. Sooooo much fun!!!!!
After a year or so I came clean with the grandchildren, telling them that it was all just a made up story. I didn’t ever want them to think Jesus was also just a made up story. I could see the disappointment in the youngest one’s eyes, and the oldest, well, she seemed okay with knowing. We talked about how it is sometimes very easy to believe a fantastical story, especially if the person telling it is persuasive. As Christians we need to be on guard against such things, and weigh everything against the word of God. So, this was a good lesson in being gullible. But also, make believe it’s not all bad. Think of all the books and movies out there. They are not all true. Some are soooo good that we want to read them or watch them over and over. Maybe this little treasure adventure will spark their imaginations to want to write non-fictional stories as they get older, like Harry Potter, or Alice in Wonderland, or the bamboo people who live in the river?