I am sitting outdoors on our Seabourn suite deck. It is late at night. There are thousands of stars in the sky but I cast my eyes on one, the North Star shining bright among all the others. The North Star is like no other, stable and bright amongst the millions of stars in the universe. It’s not at all like a shooting star that’s here one second and gone the next; the North Star is a guiding light of permanence.
I usually opt for a creative approach when I decide I want to make a point with my grandchildren. How? I tell them a story. I think storytelling–good storytelling that is–is the best way to capture the attention of all age groups. Don’t you?
Sitting alone with my thoughts, I am reminded of a time many years ago when a few of my very young grands came to spend the weekend. It was dark when we arrived home after lapping up ice cream sundaes at the Ghirardelli ice cream shop a few blocks from our apartment in the sky. Living on the 71st floor is captivating to the eye, especially at night when you walk over to the huge windows that wrap around all the rooms of our apartment. Looking out at the millions of shining stars casting a glow over the city is breathtaking. As I look out over the sea and into the star-filled sky tonight, I am reminded of a story I told my grands about the North Star.
A Conversation With My Grands
“Come sit close to me on the window’s ledge. I want to tell you a story about a special star in the sky. I love stars! Don’t you?”
“Yes Honey, we love stars,” my grands said almost in unison.
“Look up into the sky at the thousands of twinkling stars! Do you see that bright star that outshines all the others?”
“I do!” said one.
“I think I do!” said another grand.
“I like shooting stars and I wish I could see one,” said the third.
“Well, I am not talking about the shooting stars that flash only for a moment across the sky. I am referring to the North Star, the brightest star in the sky. It is called the stable star because all of the millions of other stars rotate around it. Pretend the reason that it shines so brightly is because it is a good star that all the other stars look up to.”
“I want to be a brightly-shining, stable star,” said one grand.
“Me too!” another grand echoed.
“I promise you Honey, I will be a stable star,” said another.
One North Star Among Many Shooting Stars
“Well, I am going to tell you a story about the stable and bright North Star, but first I will tell you about the stars I don’t want you to follow. Referred to as shooting stars, they flash across the sky. They will wow you for a minute but then fade away because they are not stable. You will not learn anything good from these stars. You do not want to behave like a shooting star.”
All at once they said, “We won’t, Honey!”
To be sure, I gave them a few examples to remind them of the characteristics of the North Star: the stable star.
- The Stars on our American Flag that symbolize our freedom, democracy and stability as a Country.
- Their mothers and fathers who work hard to feed, clothe and educate them.
- My darling grands who study hard at school, turn in homework on time, are respectful to their parents, tell the truth and have kind hearts.
Wishes For My Grands
“My wishes for you are to continue growing up to be good citizens, to continue to be proud of yourselves and continue to have friends you can admire. Most importantly, I want you to admire yourselves. Certainly, I want you to have a bright and stable life.”
I think of my grands as my bright little stars, like the North Stare, the most honored star in the sky. I am so proud of all of them and love them with all my heart.
My grands replied, “We will be like the North Star and we love you too, Honey.”
Nostalgia Hits Me
As I think back to that night many moons ago, my grands matured into North Stars in their own right. They all shine brightly in society and in my heart. They are good citizens and respectful children.
I hope they catch themselves when they think about making a move that is out of character and they experience a flashback to that starry, starry night. During this night, they gazed out the window with their grandmother in her apartment in the sky and recognized the brightest star in the sky, the North Star.
From The Balcony of the Seabourn
As I sit on the balcony of our ship on this peaceful night years later, similarly still staring out into the sky, I wish I had been able to spend more time with my grands. They have missed out on my wisdom and I have missed out on so much.