A Holiday Lesson

Dear Jonty,

We have just returned from a holiday at Grandma’s beach house in Bundaberg. On the way home from the beach one day, I was so incredibly proud of you.

After you and Trent rode your bikes and Mum and Dad pushed the triplets in strollers, we had arrived at the beach and you discovered a rock that you really loved. Daddy and I did not understand why you loved it. It was bumpy and ugly and it was big. That beach is full of rocks. It was low tide, and we were walking around on the rocks discovering things like little fish and crabs. Of all the multitudes of rocks, this one took your fancy.

You immediately communicated your affection for this particular rock to your father. You told him you wanted to bring it home. Your father clearly stated that he was not going to carry that rock home. You turned around and carted that heavy rock across the flat sand where the water had left the shore and left it near your bike.

We played in the water, explored the shoreline and swam in the inlet. When we returned to the bikes and prams with five tired children, we had completely forgotten about the ordinary rock.

But you hadn’t.

You once again expressed your desire to bring the rock home. Your father once again stated his refusal to be a part of this plan. You knew there was no negotiation on this point. You simply picked up your bike and struggling with it, you made your way up through the soft sand holding, and pushing and slipping and straining.

It was not long before we noticed the determination on your face and recognised that this was a project you were committed to completing. And you did. For about 500m you persisted, not complaining, resolute in achieving your goal. You tried a variety of methods, wrapping a towel around the rock, sitting it on the seat of the bike and at various points on the frame. At last you discovered that balancing the rock on the handlebars was the most effective way to transport the heavy rock and slowly you walked pushing the rock and using your body to balance it all. Even still, the rock kept becoming unstable and heavy and dropping. Your bike now has several extra scratches and dents.

Daddy had walked ahead of you, pushing the double stroller with two tired cranky boys in it. Trent also needed to keep moving on his bike. But even still, they would pause, wait for you to catch up, speak some encouragement and keep moving. Imogen and I slowly walked with you, tripling the time of our journey home under the hot midday tropical sun. Encouraging you, suggesting new strategies, waiting as you struggled, keeping you company so you were not alone on your endeavour.

Because my darling boy, we are your family. This is what will always do. We will walk beside you, support you and encourage you. We are your greatest fan club, your loudest cheerleaders. It would have been easy, my son, to have taken the rock from you and to have carried your burden. But if we had done that, we would have denied you the journey. We would have denied you the achievement and success that was yours at the conclusion of your project. We wanted you to use that fierce determination that you own and persevere and complete the task you had set yourself, even though it required personal sacrifice, dedication and effort. It is these character traits that will lead you onto bigger projects and see the outworking and fulfilment of your dreams. And as you domy boy,we will always be there. Watching, waiting, expectant and proud of you. So very proud of you.

In the end, when we got close to the house, you left the rock in the park for awhile, went and took your bike home, then returned to bring the rock back.

I watched you the whole time (except when I ran inside for the camera), you sometimes feel nervous doing things on your own. Daddy came and walked the last bit with you before finally holding it as you both crossed the road together. And there you were, triumphant at last!

Never forget, we love and support you. You are destined for greatness Jonty. Learn your life lessons while you are young, do great things when you are older. And never, ever lose your tenacity. Use that strength to succeed in doing good.

With all my love,


What life lessons have you observed a child learn lately that has made your heart swell with pride?

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

You may also like


  1. Aww shucks! I’m nearly in tears! The only thing stopping them flowing is that I presume said rock is still at the beach house! Or perhaps, maybe, did you take it ‘home’ to Highfields??

  2. Dear Jonty,
    Congratulations on showing such diligence and perseverance, I am very proud of you too!
    Mummy is right, there are lots of important things to learn from your fabulous rock (and I don’t just mean the kind of things that Aunty Leanne could tell you because of her geological knowledge; although I am sure the science of rock study is something you could be very clever at!).
    I am reminded of what a man called Confucius said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Well done for picking up your rock and working out the best way to transport it. Confucius also said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
    Confucius was a very clever Chinese man (he was also a teacher just like your Mum!); people still remember his words even though he lived such a long time ago (even longer ago than Jesus!!). People remember lots of the words Confucius came up with because they are good lessons for life; I hope you remember your Mum’s words at important times in your life.
    I guess one of the reasons people can see that Confucius was so wise is because he knew how important families are. Your Mum is wise too, she can see that It is at home with your family that you learn to deal with life’s problems and challenges, families are meant to love and help each other.
    Your family may not always carry ‘rocks’ for you, but we will be there to encourage you and will always help when you really need it. Your family will be so proud of you for carrying your own rocks, projects, lessons and problems.
    I am proud to be a part of your Family Jonty!
    I would love to read a blog about your rock and why you like it so much! In some of the pictures it looks a bit like coral or something exciting.
    Aunty Julienne

  3. Wow what an awesome little man 🙂 Kids are amazing aren’t they. They see so much that we don’t in everything that surrounds them.

    A beautiful post.

    MC xo

  4. Caitlin, I love this story but for a totally different reason. If it was me, I would have put my foot down and said the rock was not coming, and to stop being silly. I would have been impatient about walking in the sun, and I would have got irritated very quickly.
    Thank you for reminding me that sometimes a rock is not just a rock, but actually so much more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *