Dinosaur Train streamed across the screen. Nolan informed me that there are dinosaurs. I told him that they do not exist anymore. He again informed me that indeed there are, because he saw the bones. About that time a Dodo showed up on the TV screen. I told Nolan that we have not had dodo birds for a very long time; that they are extinct. Now there is nothing worse than breaking a child’s heart, and I was the heartless villain. Nolan sat next to me weeping. “I want to see them, and they are all gone. I don’t want animals to go away.” Yes, gone away. More and more every day we are losing those beautiful creatures. Extinct. A word not expected out of the mouth of a 6 year old.
“Do you want to help save animals?” I asked. Of course, he did. It was time for grandparents to step up and make it happen. National Geographic Kids was the answer.
I truly don’t think there is anything better than turning your grandchildren on to ways to make the world better. We can actually adopt an animal for the kids to read up on and follow. We can do fundraisers and save pennies. We can teach those bright minds that are caring and open to channel their concern. Yep, we will support them in an effort to make a difference.
“The dodos will come back again, right?” Oh no, I’ve already crushed his little heart once. What can I say? “I don’t think so, Nolan, but we can always hope.” Maybe I didn’t lie. Maybe someday someone will take DNA and come up with a new dodo. Maybe Nolan will be the one to do it.
There is wisdom in these children. The strong child who rebels and is opinionated will become a leader. She will have the drive to make things happen and build a better world. The quiet, observing child will make changes and fight for what is right. Opening doors for these children is an honor. Offering them new experiences and new opportunities enlarges their worlds. More times than not, they teach us. We find new parts of ourselves in these eye-opening moments. They are capable of great things.
Perhaps one of these kids will be the very person to save some endangered creature or to find a new drug that will save lives. Every door we open just might be the one that makes a difference in this world. We are all aboard the Dinosaur Train.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.