School was hardly out when we arrived at a bus stop late one Friday night, eager to pick up our "American Son", our fresh air boy. We hadn't seen him in a year but it felt like just the other day when we were able to give him a big welcome hug.
Early the next morning, we all loaded up in the van and headed up to the cottage for a week. Cesar hardly had a chance to blink and he was in a totally different surroundings... the Bronx, New York one day and way up north, in the rugged, barren landscape of Northern Ontario.
He fit right in though. Playing with friends and reading when he needed some quiet time.
About half way through the week he went through "I miss technology!" withdrawal, but then he embraced his surroundings, jumped in the boats, and had fun swimming.
An ugly old snapper was caught as he went swimming by. How much more relaxing the lake would be if you didn't have to worry about snappers.
This week at the cottage had an abundance of teenagers. It was so fun to watch them interact and include all around them.
We had Cesar at home with us for one more week before he had to go back home. We had friends over to swim and spent a lot of time playing around here at home.
Cesar had never been on a bike ride before so he enjoyed being on the back of Adam's bike and experiencing a bike ride.
In August, we spent a Saturday watching a war re-enactment. Learning history becomes so much more interesting to young boys when they can see it, hear it, and smell it. The actors live on the battle grounds for the weekend totally playing the part, eager to answer any questions and talk about everything they have learned through all of their research.
Our neighbours. Seriously.
Our neighbour who is Cherokee had a booth set up selling all things boys love; blades, arrow heads, flint, and animal skins. Dangling directly above the boys' heads were cool necklaces with real bear claws. These boys eyed the necklaces with a look of, "if only I could have these..."
Adam, not one to impulsively buy anything, told the boys they could each pick one out. This he reasoned, would support our neighbour who has struggled with grape growing for a number of years. Our neighbour has also been very giving, allowing us to borrow farm equipment from time to time. Buying these bear claws would be a win-win. After the bear claws were carefully chosen by each son, we placed them over their necks. Then it was time to pay. I saw Adam do a big gulp when he heard the price of the bear claws. Each necklace was $20.00 bucks. It was too late to back out now. We now owned $100.00 worth of bear claws!
It turned out, the youngest boy was too afraid to look at the bear claw and turned the necklace backwards so the claw was hanging down his back. And then a few days later when the fourth son was asked where his necklace was he responded that it "drowned in the pond."
Don't ask me where the other bear claws are but it gave the grandparents a good laugh watching this unfold.