The Upside of Downtime

Down time. That phrase can have a variety of connotations. It can be the computer not cooperating, the vehicle broke down, or being in bed with an illness. But down time for me is a positive thing; it’s being retired and having time to write and still having lots of time with our grandkids. This is the first time in three years that we have been able to spend a month with them. 

They live on five acres of land with horses, dogs, and monkeys. They don’t watch a lot of TV; they are too busy with their other interests. Their school schedule has recently started back up and they are so excited. We leave the campground and go to their house after they have their chores done after school. 

I am so amazed at the differences in their personalities. The fifteen-year-old is dazzled by celebrities, especially teen rock stars, but she likes them more if they are community minded and known for caring and helping others. But she is finally beginning to buckle down and take studying seriously this year. Yet she is fascinated by locusts which abound in the trees on the property. Last night we watched one come out of its shell and get ready to fly away.

Her thirteen-year-old sister loves science, mythology and the arts. She recently acquired a keyboard and is teaching herself to play. She loves to run cross country. She is a voracious reader of science fantasy and mythology. She is not dazzled by bling or celebrities. She would rather be outdoors and listening to her MP3 player than just about anything else. She and their younger brother are in the gifted curriculum at their schools.

Their brother is ten years old and, although he’s a very social young man, he likes things to be precise and seems to have an aptitude for mechanical drawing, math and science. His memory is unequaled in our family. If you say you’re going to do something he will still remember it a month later. He and the thirteen-year-old love to play Pokemon. He taught me how to play today. We have watched movies together, fixed hair, played games, listened to music, and watched movies. 

I made them chicken curry for dinner today. it was the first time they had ever had it and they loved it. Our time here will be over all too soon, but what a blessing it has been to spend so much time with them.