I've always been aware that time spent with him is time creating memories, just like my grandparents unknowingly created for me. With that in mind and also knowing that soon he will have other interests and our time will become less and less I determined that I would do everything I could to make each of our visits special for us.
This morning I combined a little history lesson with an adventure and threw in a little family history, too. I didn't want him to be bored, but my worries were quickly eased. By keeping everything on his level, and throwing in the promise of a gift shop, he enjoyed himself. On the way to our destination he kept asking me questions about the place we were going. I quizzed him on how much he had studied about local and Texas history, seems he knew a little about Texas. Then he admitted to going to several history related museums, ones that I didn't know existed and now want to visit! While we were driving I gave a simple, but complete, history of San Antonio that a fifth grader could easily follow. The Spaniards who wanted to claim lands for the king, the soldiers who came to protect them, the native Indians, and the Canary Islanders who were sent to colonize. But wait, he is descended from Canary Islanders on his grandfather's side of the family, so there was the family history lesson! A little modern history was in the story when I explained the Great Depression, FDR, and the New Deal program.
The promised gift shop did not disappoint him. I did wisely skip the short movie that they show in a little theater. I looked at the nice selection of books while he selected a multi-tool thing with a flashlight, compass, magnifying glass and I forget what else that would hang around his neck (it was pretty nifty and I thought it a good selection). We agreed on the way home that it was a good adventure and made plans to come back when the gristmill is open again. We discussed watching the movie and another purchase he wants to make in the gift shop! Lesson learned: you can learn about history and enjoy yourself while learning!