We Will Rock You
Red rocks from Sedona. Bound for two children in my life. I’ve been giving rocks to Cayleigh since she was born, shards of earth from all over the world. At ten, she has quite a collection.
A few months ago, Cooper, my guideson, decided to get in on the rock game, too. He’s only two, so I give him two per place I visit.
It’s a way to see the world. For now. I hope the rocks kindle curiosity, stoke a fire to experience life, wherever they happen to be.
But I never thought that message would come across so soon.
Cayleigh’s paternal grandparents are Scottish, though they migrated to Canada when they were young. Last summer, she and her father traveled to Scotland with them. She got to see the houses where they grew up. The places they played. Hints of the people they were tucked into alleys and blown across fields. She even danced in the same rain.
And when she got home, she told me she got me a gift. We went out for ice cream, and she reached into her pocket and set two objects on the table.
“A rock,” she said. “I found it on a hike. It has this silver stripe, but right here, see? It has a heart on it. I thought of you and how much you would love the hike I did. I wish you could’ve done it, too.”
I was already trying not to cry. Ten-year-old girls don’t like it when grown-ups cry. (Even when they think said grown-up is a kid at heart.)
“The other one is a shell. I found it on a beach. It was really pretty there. I think that’s the only place in the world where you can find those shells. I knew you would think that was cool, because that’s how you see the world.”
Cayleigh’s rocks have pride of place in my night-stand collection. Not just because they are beautiful. They remind me that our influence on children goes beyond the ties of genetics or a shared heritage. We can pass the gift of inspiration to anyone. Who knows how we might enrich a life?
This post is part of a series. To read the first post, click here: http://andrawatkins.com/2013/07/02/i-will-remember-you/. To read the second, click here: http://andrawatkins.com/2013/07/03/she-sells-sea-shells-3/. To read the third, click here: http://andrawatkins.com/2013/07/05/nothing-to-declare/. To read the fourth, click here: http://andrawatkins.com/2013/07/06/one-giant-leap-for-mankind/. Of all the choices you had today, thank you for choosing to spend time here.