As we now head into summer and vacations, life is getting exciting at the Knight and Belviy household. We are anticipating a visit soon from oldest son, Brian; his wife, Laura; and grandchildren, Isaac, 12, Sam, 10, and Paige 8, who live in Indianapolis.
They will be visiting Randy and I and great-grandma Belviy here in Houma for a few days and doing some much needed projects around the house to earn vacation money.
While the Alzheimer’s prevents Mom from knowing exactly who they are, she still realizes they are family and always seems to perk up when the children and grandchildren visit. She definitely is more alert around them and watches the children with great interest. The children enjoy seeing her very much and will have wonderful memories of her when they are older.
The grandchildren are looking forward to visiting and completing the mostly outdoor projects. We have some great projects we have been saving just for their visit.
We have a whole list of projects and dollar amounts for the children to pick from and a system all worked out. They will pick the projects they want to do, Brian will be the project manager and we are the CEOs funding the projects.
First, Isaac and Sam will be installing an outdoor fish pond for us and Mom. We hope it will give Mom some added stimulation when she sits out on the patio. She loves to just sit and watch things and the little pond will have fish and a fountain for her to enjoy.
Paige will earn money by painting our deck and organizing our barn for us. She is a great little worker and very eager to keep up with her brothers.
Both the boys and Paige will be painting the barn and helping their Dad install a new roof on it.
Our list includes lots of smaller projects for the kids to do as well.
Isaac is an entrepreneur, and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if he takes his earned money and triples it in another venture. He is an amazing kid, hard working, motivated and sets goals and achieves them. He is such an overachiever it is hard to believe he is only 12.
Sam, on the other hand, is our resident family genius, going to advanced schools and testing off the charts. He is the reincarnation of his Uncle Michael, who went to Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts and will graduate law school in 10 months. Sam spends money almost as soon as it is in his hands. He is an amazing shop-a-holic and a great deal of fun in souvenir shops where the number of choices of where to spend his money actually stresses him out. So much like his uncle it is deja vu.
Paige is somewhere between her brothers with her money. She will probably save a little and spend a little. She is very level-headed and amazingly bright for an 8-year-old. She is an overachiever as well, but not in the same way as Sam or Isaac. She is all girl but tough as nails, courtesy of her two older brothers.
When Mom and Dad were raising us 10 kids back in the ’50s and ’60s, we always earned our money by doing projects. That is how we were paid our allowance. We didn’t just get money handed to us, but worked hard for every dime we earned.
We learned at a very early age that if we wanted spending money, we would have to earn it. It is incredibly gratifying to see both our sons carrying on these work ethics in their children. The movers and shakers in this world aren’t born that way but become that way with proper guidance and direction.
The legacy that Mom and Dad started with us is on the third generation now, and Mom and Dad both would be so proud. We look forward to the future and to what our grandchildren will accomplish in their lives.
My only wish is that the Alzheimer’s would allow Mom to realize what good parents they were to their children, that the morals and ethics they instilled in their children are alive and well and still being passed down to each new generation. But maybe Mom somehow, some way, does know.
Donna Knight writes for The Houma (La.) Courier and The Thibodaux (La.) Daily Comet.