Growing up with gnomes

Our two BC grandsons are growing up in a world of magic. There are gnomes living in the forest near their North Vancouver home. When the boys were younger, we’d often explore the forest looking for gnome homes.

The closest we ever came to finding one was this little gnome gate.


Now that the boys are in school and busy with other organized activities and play dates with friends, it’s been quite awhile since we’ve gone into the forest together, but the gnomes are still very much a part of their lives. Many years ago, our son and daughter-in-law installed a tiny gnome door on the outer wall of the family room so that the little men can come and go whenever they want. Though they never show up in the daytime, it’s obvious that they sometimes visit at night. They always decorate around their door for special occasions like Halloween and Christmas and they often leave tiny gifts for the boys.

In a world that is increasingly filled with stress and fear, I’m glad that there is also magic and wonder, imagination and creativity, and I’m thankful for parents who make the effort to nurture it!

Looking for gnomes

After spending the past three weeks caring for my aging parents, we’ve moved across town to our son and daughter-in-law’s for a few days before we head for home. I’m mentally and emotionally worn out and nervous about leaving Mom and Dad on their own and it hasn’t helped that it’s been grey and rainy the entire time that we’ve been in Vancouver. Fun with our grandsons is just the medicine I need at the moment and what could be more delightful than a walk in the woods to look for gnomes?

Twenty-three years ago, when our son, Matt, was in fourth grade, we shared our home with a Norwegian exchange student. Bjorn came to us bearing unique and interesting gifts for each member of the family. The boys received Norwegian trolls about 6 inches tall with mischievous, grinning faces. In recent months, Matthew’s troll took up residence on a shelf in the kitchen of his home. That led to questions from inquisitive 3-year-old Sam and prompted a discussion about gnomes. Searches of the nearby forest followed to see if any of these dwarfish creatures could be found. Yesterday we were invited to go along on one of these adventures!

Could there be a gnome in here?

Or here?

Though we didn’t see any, there must have been one living under this tree because Mommy “found” a teeny, tiny gold key that fits perfectly into the lock of the tiny gnome door that she and Daddy recently installed on the outer wall of the family room! The plan is to put the key back where it was found so that the gnomes can come to visit if they want to.


Robin claims that she had absolutely nothing to do with the little gnome gate that we found deeper in the woods. Perhaps, the little people are protecting their food stores from squirrels or maybe they have treasure hidden here!

Our grandsons, Sam and little brother Nate, are fortunate to live just a couple of blocks from the forest and very blessed to have parents who nurture and encourage their active imaginations. Way to go, Matt and Robin!