Updated: Jul 25
Colloquial wisdom says summer, the season for adventures, begins as soon as the doors close behind the last student on the last day of the school year. And for all of us, no matter the age, summer is still the time of freedom! Walking barefoot, taking trips, and letting hotdog mustard drip on our shirts during the seventh-inning stretch of an afternoon baseball game.
The Texas grands began summer way ahead of my NC grand. School endings being a matter of state legislation, Stuart, Roger,
and Maggie took a first barefoot step into the season on May 26 while Emmalie had her first summertime pool party on June 9.
All will make the most of the time between grades, and I hear about their adventures regularly. I hope summer is long enough to hold all the fun they have planned.
Stuart’s school year ended with fanfare this time. He closed the doors on elementary school forever and is heading to middle
school. Students moving on took a victory lap up and down the hallways of Virginia Reinhardt Elementary School in preparation
for the big exit to the bigger halls of junior high. His entry to summer has special significance, but only the adults in his life pause to ponder the day. Stuart’s mind is on adventure, and he will not waste one day of his freedom months considering the past nor the future. His world is the present.
The adventures begin with packing for a mammoth Boy Scout trip to Colorado. The weeklong excursion takes Stuart 784 miles from his own stomping grounds in Rockwall, Texas, up to the 8,600-foot elevation of Camp Alexander. His first Smartphone had spotty coverage so Kyle and Susan sent photos and updates provided by
the scout leader. In every snapshot, Stuart’s smile is the biggest, and in those pictures he gave me all the information I needed: I am
having the grandest adventure, and life is great.
Setting camp, eating at the chow wagon, napping in a hammock, hiking up huge mountains, and earning badges are just the start
of his adventures. I also hear about horse riding, archery, and swimming in the short messages Stuart sends. Adventures galore,
and memories aplenty. I live vicariously through this boy who takes life as it comes and tries anything.
On the way home, Stuart reports that temperatures are rising the closer the group gets back to Texas. Amarillo set records at 106 in the first week of June, so the troop opted for a hotel instead of camping out as planned. Alternative plan? No problem for Stuart. Being on an adventure needs no formal plan, and even detours are
sought rather than dreaded. So much to learn from my grand about his trip, but also about life and risks and striking a new path.
My newest t-shirt, a gift from Kathy after graduating from Moody Theological Seminary in May, reminds me: “Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” I think it’s Thoreau who captures the sentiment when he writes that we are “to live deliberately.” The
Good News puts it in different language and for eternal lessons, first in Matthew: “Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow” and
again in John: “I came so that they could have life...to the fullest.” Being an adventurer for Jesus means living life to the fullest, each day, open to the God possibilities each hour holds.
Kyle and Susan report that Stuart greeted everyone, shared a few
stories, and then fell asleep on the sofa almost mid-sentence. When Stuart came back down his mountain, there was nothing left—he gave it his all. What an attitude to have. What a lesson to share.
Stuart has lots of summer left, and he has many more mountains to climb before taking his first steps into the new halls of Utley Middle School. I wonder how he feels about all that’s coming soon? Never mind, I will think like Stuart: Today is a grand adventure, and
that is enough.
Written by Jim Edminson, Editor of Charity & Children