August 22, 2016

The grand(est) parents

While waiting on the internet to work again, I had some time to think about the kids' three grandparents. I thought and thought about which of their qualities to highlight.

Should I focus on their wisdom? That would be a long post. Perhaps their goofy antics? My dad has plenty of those. What about their good health and impressive energy levels? Their commitment to their families? Their devoted faith in G0D? Their intense interest in the kids (which we all know kids crave).

But in the end, it wasn't their cleverness nor their generosity that I chose to highlight, nor their good advice, their colorful stories, their delicious food. It was not the years of life experience that I chose to go with, nor their quick smiles, long fuses, or constant availability.

Instead I chose to praise them for their vulnerability.

The other day at the breakfast table, we had a little talk with our kids about friends. We tried to explain to them why some kids act mean, and can't seem to handle being close to other kids in a sincere and happy way.

"Difficult things have happened to them," I said.  "Even if it's just angry parents, or parents who don't pay much attention to them, and they've learned that in order to survive in this world they must wear a tough outer shell. When you bump up against that shell, it isn't pleasant. We're sorry about that, but you must remember how blessed you are. You must always be thankful, not judging. And you must not worry too much if you don't have loads of friends. A few real friends are all you'll need."

The conversation then went to grandparents. The kids brought them up, as examples of people in their lives (besides Daniel and me) who do not wear tough outer shells.

"Like how Grandpa gets down at our level with his arms open wide at the airport, to receive all four of us at once when we get off the plane," Gene said, his eyes dancing at the thought.

And how Grandma talked Zion through his troubles while we were away this summer, helping him to see his worth regardless of his size.

And how Momo lives her life, alone in the world's eyes but in actual fact she enjoys a loving relationship with her Lord that the kids see and emulate.

There is no way to put a value on good grandparents. Time will tell of their worth, in the fruit that our children bear, as a result of having these three gems in their lives.

Grandma and Momo at Port Sheldon, Michigan, summer '16

Grandpa, living the dream on Portage Lake, summer '16

Momo staying out of the son at Hermosa Beach, summer '16

Grandma looking like one of the kids. xoxo

Gramps on the trails with Gene and Zion, summer '16