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I was not a perfect mother. My children could give you examples that I’ve long (or is it conveniently?) forgotten. I tend to remember the games, the hikes, the stories, the treasure hunts, the treats, the laughter, the anticipation, the satisfaction. Selective memory? I’m fine with that.

Speaking of the treats. . .Well, maybe there were a few imperfections. Like naughty dough.* Basically, it’s piecrust on a cookie sheet with butter, sugar and cinnamon. Bake, cut into squares and eat for an afterschool snack. I have never been a huge fan of carrot sticks and was sure my children wouldn’t be either. And guess what? Half of them aren’t.

And treasure hunts. One day, one of my sisters came to visit me and I was talking about a lunch time treasure hunt where each clue led to a different lunch item and location to eat lunch; for example, at one point everyone stands in the shower to eat sandwiches. She looked at me, and said, “How can you have such fun ideas and decorate like this?”

Since this is Monday, and I’m usually blogging about ideas for parenting, I’m going to give you my favorite clue for a treasure hunt. (Consider it a parenting help.) The clue is: ABCDEFGABCDEFG Can you guess where it leads? (I got this from the same sister who decorates with whimsy and humor and thinks I decorate like a bore.)

Many of our family Spring celebrations, on the Saturday before Easter Sunday, we had treasure hunts around the yard leading to spring baskets. Actually, we had treasure hunts all year long. On cold days they were in the house. When they were too young to read, the clues were pictures (phone, fridge, iron, etc.—printed from clipart.) Our advent calendar included looking for a “treasure” every day prior to Christmas. And one of my son’s birthday parties was a Detective Party with clues that led the boys around town where each location (library, post office, pizza place, etc.) gave them a clue to the next stop. At the pizza place we picked up pre-ordered pizza to take back with us.

My children are now grown and the guilt over naughty dough, the strict bedtimes, and the mistakes my children remember for me, is slowly fading. But how to make treasure hunts? Nope. There I’m just getting started.

This weekend my 10 month old granddaughter came to stay and in between my totally spoiling her, and granddad totally spoiling her, we let her sleep. That’s how it is. Being a grandma lets me do everything wrong and at the same time, everything absolutely right. And next year, there’s going to be treats hidden in Grandma’s back yard.

*Note: I didn’t make naughty dough too often–and usually while our dad was at work; afterall, it is naughty. (He knows about it now.) All the same, some things just might get passed on.