A Treasure Hunt Kind of Day

A family emergency left me tending to my seven-year-old granddaughter, Morgan. She’s usually one of those “sunshine” children, but a dark cloud hovered over her blonde head.

My heart broke.

I stopped everything to care for her and try to bring back that sunshine. Of course, these things usually happen when there are at least five million pressing items on your to-do list. For me – probably ten million.

Or so it seemed.

I took a breath and decided we would have a “Morgan Day”.

We were reading through her aunt’s old wizard, fairy, dragon, and pirate books when we decided to have a treasure hunt of our own. This girl NEEDED a treasure map, so I took a picture of the detailed map in the book, uploaded it to my computer, and printed it off.

Morgan raced upstairs and dug around while I put the finishing touches on the map. In no time, she scrounged up a wooden box – from where I have no idea – and tromped downstairs with her booty. I smiled. That box was bringing back the sunshine on her golden head.

“We need treasure,” I announced with a yo, ho, ho.

That part’s not difficult in a grandma-teacher kind of house. We found red plastic hearts, golden stars, leftover Valentine’s candy, unicorn erasers, some purple plastic gems, bingo chips, and dice. A stray plastic snake and a toy panda ventured in as well.

Now came the fun part. I took the map out onto the property and counted out my paces in true pirate style, marking them on the map as I went. I found a perfect hiding spot in my garden, plunked the treasure chest down, and covered it with a few stray weeds just for good measure.

I rushed inside, handed the map to Morgan, and she blew out the front door. From the big X, she counted out paces in a belting pirate voice. I have to say, I hid that treasure chest pretty well, but when she found it, her blue eyes lit up and we both hooted and hollered.

I had a great time, even though my piles of work were still waiting for me. She told everyone about her treasure hunt, and we continued to have four more “Morgan Days.” We traveled to Fresno to see her aunts, and she rode horses like a champ. She announced that she wanted to be home schooled so she could pursue her riding career.

We laughed. Her sunshine had returned.

COVID has taken its toll on us all, but we can’t forget how our children have suffered, too. Life has gotten messier than usual and most kids lack the stimulation they once had. Family matters can make it seem unbearable for some, and not all kids have a grandma within spitting distance to fill in the gaps when needed.

So…please, take that breath and go on pirate adventures with your kids or grandkids – your students at school.

I promise that time will pass and these are the moments they’ll remember!

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