Henry in the Middle

A little heartwarming story about a boy I love named Henry.

God filled my grandma cup with three incredibly sweet granddaughters – Violet, Mia, and Noelle. Life was filled with tea parties, princesses and fairies, Barbie dolls, and glitter adorned fairy wings and princess dresses. Then God took my decidedly glittery pink and purple cup of joy and filled it to overflowing by adding three grandsons – Charlie, Henry, and George. My grand-girl fun was by no means over, but my toy arsenal now included marble-eating plastic dinosaurs, toy cars and trucks, and lots of dirt and bugs.

Each one of these kiddos is a huge blessing to this grandma, but today I’d like to tell you a little bit about my middle grandson, Henry.

Henry is 10 years old, loves to talk about all sorts of interesting things, knows more than the average adult about alligators and a host of other reptiles, is super creative and artsy, and he loves to collect things from nature. On a recent after-school visit, Henry brought out this little treasure box he had decorated during craft time at Camp Fairwood.

Opening the lid to this treasure box is not for the squeamish or faint of heart among us, for it is filled to the brim with a collection of bones from tiny critters. Just where does Henry find these bones? Well, they are dissected from owl pellets he finds while exploring the woods in his backyard (click here if you’d like to read about owl pellets).

The boys took me for a hike in their woods to show me the secret place where they had built their forts. One fort was Charlie’s and an adjacent one was Henry’s. George hasn’t built a fort yet, but enjoys helping his older brothers find building materials to create their stick forts.

While Henry was giving me the tour of his fort (which has the toothy jawbone of a cow from Louisiana as its primary decor), he told me he’d like to make a craft with me sometime soon – a decoration he could hang in his fort. Henry described a wind chime or mobile from which he’d like to hang some of his bones.

[Note to my FMF friends: my five minutes of free-writing ends here. But, if you want to find out what we made, then you need to keep reading.]

One afternoon this week I returned with a few items from my craft room: a plastic lid from a jar of instant coffee, a ball of twine, and my collection of ‘pony beads’ in various shades of brown. Henry and I worked together at the kitchen table wrapping that twine around the jar lid to form an earthy decorative ring. Henry wrapped twine for a bit, but then I took over when the twine began to get a bit tangled. Henry chose which beads and bones he wanted to use, then big sister Violet helped me string Henry’s selections onto four lengths of twine while he flitted off to a new adventure. A few beads, then a bone, a few beads, then a bone, a few bird feathers he had collected for added color, then we finished off each strand with a bigger bone just to give it a bit more weight.

With the completed creation in hand, Henry led me on a hike down the hill in their backyard, then through the woodsy winding path which led us to his fort. I hung up his new decoration and got this very pleased smile.

As we admired his new decor, Henry confided, “Grandma, when I’m a dad someday, I want to buy a house with a woods where my kids can build forts.” Then, as if my heart weren’t already overflowing with joy, he sweetly adds, “And I want to do crafts with them, like you do with me.”

Today I am meeting up with a community of bloggers for Five Minute Friday. Our challenge is to take a one word prompt and write for five minutes. I failed miserably in the “five minute” part of the challenge, but did succeed in writing about a sweet memory that I hope I will never forget. The prompt this week: Middle.

Author: barefootlilylady

I love sharing about my barefoot gardening adventures, hence my blogger name. As I write, some of my other passions might spill out -- like fun with grandkids, baking and sewing endeavors, what I'm studying in Scripture, and the like. My readers will notice that one of the primary things I write about is Alzheimer's. May what I write be an encouragement to anyone who is a caregiver for someone they love with memory loss.

6 thoughts on “Henry in the Middle”

  1. This is really sweet. Love the story and the connection of you with a grandson. This will always be a cherished memory with him. And, it’s a cherished memory for you. How awesome is it that they have forts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate to Henry – bones are very cool. I have a bat skull from a brown bat that came out too early and froze to death and I used to have several deer skulls that I found on hikes. I love the structure of bones and how they work to hold a body up and allow it to move. I also love knowing that there are still children who value exploring outdoors instead of remaining glued to some electronic device. I work at a university that is adjacent to a good sized lake. We have fox families and they are an elusive treat to see. A colleague told me of a young fox sitting quite close to where students were passing between classes. He sat and watched and not a single student noticed him. All were staring at their phones – not even interacting with the humans around them, not noticing anything about their surroundings. So sad!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the wonderful comment. I could not agree with you more. My street is part of a walking/biking trail, so we see quite a few people out and about throughout the day. It shouldn’t come as a surprise (but it always does), how many people are walking past beautiful things on this trail with their eyes glued to their phone. It warms my heart when I see my grandkids spending device-free time outdoors exploring the world in their own backyard.

      My husband just returned yesterday from a little fishing trip with a friend. He brought back a surprise for Henry to add to his collection — bones taken from this friend’s farmland. We took a short drive last night to drop off the bones. You’d have thought we gave him gold. Ha!

      We used to have a fox family in our neighborhood, but I haven’t seen them in awhile. We have plenty of rabbits for them to eat, so I truly wish they’d take up residence once again.


    1. Thank you, Belinda. I’m so glad you commented today, as this grandson’s birthday is coming up soon. I just might re-post this story on that occasion. I have a special request for a birthday cake this year–he wants his cake to look like a paleontological dig site! That boy makes me smile. ~ Cindie


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