I sometimes wonder if our children think that we as parents (now grandparents) have saved our best stuff for last. I am pretty sure that at some level my youngest daughter thinks that I do all this cool stuff with the grand babies and that somehow she didn’t get that kind of attention. And while it is true that our kid tricks have gained traction over the years, they each got the best we had to give at the time.
What is true is the fact that we as grandparents can be more relaxed in our relationship with the grand kids in a way that we as parents were not fully capable of.
In Ecclesiastes 1:9 we read that:
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
This fact was revealed to me in a new way several weeks ago when I happened onto a TED talk by Kirby Ferguson entitled “Embrace the ReMix”. It is a fascinating concept that seems highly relevant as we enter into the next phase of our corporate/cultural lives. That talk can be found here as an introduction to the full series.
Assuming that you just watched it and are back, I will continue.
When I became a father for the first time I made a commitment to myself that I would not repeat the mistakes in parenting that I believe that my dad had made. He worked a lot and my memory is that after supper he would take a 15 minute power nap, read the paper a while and then head back to work as an accountant for a big manufacturing firm. And while our memories are fickle, I don’t have that many fuzzy feelings about how often he played catch with me in the front yard or gave me what I needed emotionally during my formative years.
It took me several years to finally realize that my dad couldn’t give me what he most likely never received himself. He did the best he could with the limited emotional resources he had at his disposal.
And I guess that is what we as parents pass on to our kids.
By the time I became a father I had been a Christian for a year or so and, unlike my earthly father, was able to rely on His grace and His strength to follow through on some of the promises I had made as regards to parenting and being a husband, etc. In other words, I had a lot of help being more “in-the-moment” than my dad had.
That being said, what my younger daughter doesn’t remember at this point in her life is the fact that I learned a lot of my kid-tricks taking care of her. In addition, we spent more time together than I ever did with her older siblings: She would swing for what seemed like hours in the back yard as I learned to play the mandolin and we sang hymns and folk songs together. We even made up our own verses to “She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain” and “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder” although I would be hard pressed to remember any of them at this point.
Anyway, we live and we learn and we learn to live some more. There is more to this line of thinking but It is time to head out to a covered dish.
Enjoy your ride and click the link below for the rest of the story…….