After a wonderfully busy Saturday that made me want to spend sunday being comatose, Michael (my six year old) came up to me, with far more energy than children should be allowed to have on a Sunday afternoon, and said, "I want to go treasure hunting."
"...and just where do you want to do this?" said I (trying to maintain my important job of holding one end of the couch down)
"In the back yard. You draw the map."
-- Now let's see if we can follow the logic here...
"I draw the map, put an "x-marks" on it somewhere, and we dig there and we find treasure?"
"Yes, we find treasure there."
"So what if I put an "x-marks" over here?, will we find treasure?"
"So if I draw a bunch of maps, each with an "x-marks" in a different place, we'll find treasure all over the place, right?"
I could feel my hold on the couch slipping...
"So even without a map, there would be treasure anywhere we dig under the back yard..."
I drew a map.
I had him go out and measure off paces, from the gate, to the sandbox, to the slide, to the fence, and as he came back each time, we made one more measurement on the map.
We went out, got our digging tools, and started pacing. We ended up in the shade by the fence in the back yard, in a spot where he'd dug many times before, and started digging.
He dug a bit, then I dug, and we chatted about life, how things were going, the boat ride we'd taken saturday (where he'd actually driven the boat). Since it was hot, we decided to put some water into the hole, so many trips with buckets later, we had it full.
I asked him if he wanted to take his shoes off.
He knew what that meant, and with a big smile he took his shoes and socks off and stuck his little feet into the muddy water.
I joined him a couple of minutes later (having gotten a couple more buckets of water in the meantime)
So we sat there, our feet invisible under the surface, talking, giggling about how icky our feet were, what mom would say if she saw us, why there were pine needles growing out of our toes, stuff like that...
And I realized something...the time we were spending together on a warm, lazy, sunny Sunday afternoon, was wonderful.
Michael was right.
There was treasure in our back yard, anywhere we dug.
Because the treasure wasn't gold or silver...
...it was time.
Copyright 2005 Tom Roush (unpublished)
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