Breakfast With Bubbie – Treasured Memories
In our home, we watch a lot of documentaries. Even when our children were little we would have them watch National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel and any other learning channel we thought they could benefit from.
One Sunday, our children, who were between the ages of 4-10, were watching some documentary or another about treasure hunting. There were deep-sea divers, Civil War hunters, buried pirate gold and lost treasures of every kind. Our kids were so excited! They wanted to go on a treasure hunt so bad! They were hooked. After that, they started watching one treasure hunting documentary after another.
Trevor and I wanted to fulfill their dreams of hunting for treasure so we started by drawing up “treasure maps” for our backyard and an empty field near our home, complete with directions, arrows, pace marks and even an “X” to search for. But there is only so much buried treasure you can hunt for in your own back yard and real treasure hunting can be very expensive. With a family our size…well it was just out of the question.
So Trevor and I started brainstorming ideas about how we could possibly take the kids on a real treasure hunt without breaking the bank.
One night, the kids watched a show about Indian artifacts found in the United States. The researchers had uncovered arrow heads, leather moccasins, maze stones and much more. The kids got so excited. Knowing we lived in an area originally inhabited by the Luiseño Indians, our oldest daughter exclaimed, “We can hunt for treasure right here!”
With that realization, the light bulb went off. We knew how we could take kids treasure hunting. So the plotting began.
Before Trevor’s next day off, he went to an Indian trading store that used to be located in our town and he bought some treasures. He bought arrow heads, hand-crafted leather bracelets, leather hair ties, leather satchels and beaded jewelry. He didn’t spend much, only about $25, but we knew it was more than enough to take the kids on an adventure they would never forget.
That night, we told the kids we were going treasure hunting the next day. The kids were so excited they could barely sleep. All they could talk about was hunting for treasure. The next morning, you could feel their excitement. They could barely contain their enthusiasm and the whole morning we listened to never-ending chatter about our upcoming excursion.
We even used the kids’ excitement to get our entire downstairs and all their bedrooms cleaner than they had been in a long time!
That afternoon, we took the kids to a dry creek bed not far from our home and let them loose, telling them to start looking. You would have thought it was the beginning of the Indy 500, the way those kids took off in their quest. They searched through the brush and dug through the sand, turning over every rock they could find.
After about 30 minutes of fruitless searching, the kids started to get bored and began complaining about the hot weather. We encouraged them to keep searching; to not give up so easily. We told them that to succeed in their hunt they had to be diligent and that success takes hard work and effort and we sent them back out.
About ten minutes later, we could tell the kid’s enthusiasm was wearing down and we knew it was time to set our real plan into motion.
As the kids wearily searched on, Trevor and I were directing them where to look next. Little did they know, as they were searching, we began dropping “treasures” from our pockets right next to them. Jonathan, our oldest son, was the first to find one of the treasures.
Oh my goodness, when he found that first arrowhead the shouting and excitement was unbelievable. You would have thought he had found the Mona Lisa! All of the other children crowded around him, clamoring to touch and hold the “ancient artifact.” After that first arrowhead was found the kid’s enthusiasm skyrocketed.
One of the children was really disappointed he had not found the arrowhead himself. We assured him and the others that if Jonathan had found success as a treasure hunter, they could all find success as well.
Suddenly all the children wanted to go back to treasure hunting and they all renewed their efforts. As they hunted with more excitement than ever, we continued surreptitiously dropping treasures for them to discover. By the end of the hunt, each of the kids had found a few ancient treasures. Those crazy kids even managed to find a real, sun-bleached coyote skull. (Trevor let them bring it home…ewww!)
It wasn’t until many years later that we finally told the kids our little secret about their successful treasure hunt from that day. The children were so shocked! They had grown up believing they were accomplished treasure hunters and that afternoon fueled countless days and years of continued treasure hunting and a life-long interest in history and learning.
To this day, the kids still talk about that treasure hunt, even though they now know what really happened and our long-kept secret. Now, they even talk about doing the same thing with their own children. We are already waiting for our eight grand children to be old enough to get them hooked!
One thing for is for sure, the kids were so happy that day! They have enjoyed sharing stories of that adventure for years now and we all have a treasured memory we will never forget!
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