As it was with my own sons, I am not always exactly a font of truly useful information and instruction for my young grandsons. Oh, I'm probably the go-to guy when it comes to mid-day naps, which chocolates to choose out of a box full of them, and the best ways to eat a lot of fried chicken. But the truly wise, memorable stuff--like the advice Grandpa Walton used to give John-Boy--is far above my pay grade most of the time.
But I felt like I taught them something they can really use the other evening while we were walking the beach in search of the first wave of twilight ghost crabs.
Something that I've relied upon for years.
Something that--for me, at least--has sort of defined the sense of hope that I try to live by.
I'm sure you've heard it before. It goes like this:
Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight
Now, I know, that left to their own devices, my five- and-seven-year-old grandsons' first wish would most likely be for the old coot to can it, quit with the endless star-gazing, and drive them to the nearest video arcade. They wouldn't be little boys or the sons of my son if they didn't feel that way now and then.
So I'm going to make a few wishes for them, and hope a lot of them come true.
•May you live simply and always remember the little things that are of big importance.
•Here's hoping you will eventually decide to pick up your own clothes and eat some vegetables once in awhile.
•May you pay close attention to your family and friends.
•Ignore the Chicago Cubs.
•Dream crazy dreams.
•Take nothing for granted, and never fail to see the beautiful, the delightful, the admirable, and the awesome.
•May you be tolerant, understanding, accepting and filled with genuine love.
•Enjoy the journey...and the passing of time.
•I pray you'll always believe in someone bigger than yourself.
•I hope you'll know about hand-me-down clothing, home-made ice cream and leftover meatloaf.
•Learn to be honest when no one's looking.
•Fight for something you truly believe in.
•Look. Listen. Learn.
•I hope you'll always know that someone loves you.
•Please learn to say "please," "thank you," I'm sorry," and "I don't know."
•I wish you undeniable moments of total joy. And I also hope you'll experience meaningful bits of hard luck and disappointment, too.
•Work hard, play hard, and understand the reasons for both.
•I hope you'll find your heart's desire someday.
•I want you to get some of what you want and all of what you truly need.
•Dance like no one's watching; sing like you're alone in the shower.
•Trust the people who love you.
•I hope you never stop hoping, never quit dreaming, and never stop wishing upon that first star.