Our grandson, Henry, just began his first year of high school. Oh, the nostalgia that bubbled up in me. Our daughter, as a single mom, gave us the opportunity to be a big part of his childhood. Instead of putting him in daycare, she asked if we would be willing to have him at our house during the week while she was working. Willing? We jumped at the chance to be part of his growing up. What a privilege! He was the focal point of each weekday from the time he was one (she stayed home with him for his first year) until he started school full-time at age six. Then he was with us after school and holidays for several years until he was in middle school. Thereafter we became traditional grandparents, seeing him once or twice a week. We have settled into a lovely routine for Sunday mornings – brunch and a visit weekly to catch up on his news.
For this past summer, Henry spent part of each Friday with us. He had a job Monday through Thursday as a camp counselor at Steam Pump Ranch archeology camp. He had been a camper there for a couple of weeks every summer until he aged out at thirteen.
I had a special project for him. I asked him to build a brick seat wall on our front patio. I wanted a legacy project that would be a permanent part of our house – something he contributed that would be functional for us and would occupy those Fridays. I always wanted more seating for guests on our front patio, a place we sit with coffee or cocktails to look at the mountains and enjoy the activity in the neighborhood. He was in charge from conception to finish. We had final say on design and materials; he planned and built it, and we reviewed it and paid for the materials.
Henry began with internet research – of course, he’s fourteen and everything begins with the internet. He came up with a plan and put it on paper showing us the front, side, and top scheme of what the wall would look like. He made an interlocking pattern for stability. Then he researched materials, where to buy, and what adhesive to bind them together. Finally, he was ready to order materials for delivery. That was a biggy since he was then spending real money. Bricks were delivered (not without drama over missed shipments and duplicate shipments). A pile of bricks then had to be made into a real structure according to his plan. There were only three bricks left over – now I call that great planning.
Amazing! It worked. He built it just as he envisioned it. Now we have exactly what I wanted, and his brain and hands created it entirely. What a legacy!