Friday, July 21, 2017

The importance of Grands

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  I have been blessed to have some really great grands in my life. What are grands you might ask? Grands are grandparents that are involved with your life. They are people who allow space and time for you or your littles no matter what stage of life you are in.

      Some of the impacts that have come on my life I didn't even know were from my grands, but as I have gotten older and heard more of my grands personal stories, I see how my life has been impacted by them. Given that most of my grands are past on, I am now seeing how important the grands my kids have are to their lives.

     For instance, I love to throw parties. I love to have people over. I like a good chip dip or cheese ball. I'm not fancy in my parties, I just like to have good friends and good food. If there are a few games going on, all the better. My paternal grandparents threw a party for any and all reasons. They had a regular standing card night that my Mamaw still participates in even though my Papaw has passed on. My grandparents are party animals! Well, not quite, but they know that life is short and you need to celebrate.

     My Grandma Brown showed me the importance of rest. When my older two were little together I lived in that permanent state of exhaustion and hyper-vigilance that is common among the parents of younger children. I would often remark to my mother that I was tired. She would recommend rest and I would laugh. Sometimes maniacally. But then she told me a story of when my Grandma was a mom of four kids at home. Grandma Brown also worked full time. She would not go straight home after work. Instead, she would take a side trip to her parent's house and take a little nap. Or just a rest. She built in some quiet time between work and caring for her family. I thought that was genius. I adopted that into my families life. I worked out a system with my husband and we make it work. It's to the point now that I don't even have to verbally say, I'm going to take a break. My husband just gives me this look like, please go take a rest. You're acting like a bear and I know it's cause you are worn out. But that took some conversation on our part to get to that place.

My Papaw showed me how to have fun. Also, how I could have anything in the world. And I didn't need anyone's permission. My Papaw was a fun guy. He had this slow chuckle of a laugh. He had big hands that were calloused from a life of farm work. He was also a master carpenter. All self-taught. My Papaw lived life large. He made big mistakes and also rectified them He told a story that would keep us enthralled. He could play cards like a casino boss. My Papaw is my hero. Maybe it was the time he grew up in. Maybe it was coming out of a rough childhood. Either way, my Papaw just did what he wanted to do, no matter the consequences. He took care of his family, but he always left room for fun.

quote from jimmy carter

     Now, seeing my parents and in-laws be grands, it's a blessing to see what is being passed down to my kids. The lessons they are learning. My father-in-law shows them the importance of persistence and independence. My mother-in-law brings creativity and loyalty. My dad shows the kids the importance of slow words and hard work. My mom shows the kids the importance of having passions and following them. Each of their grands shows a different side of life that is important for my kids to embrace.

     Maybe you don't have grands in your life. Or your kids don't have them in their lives. That doesn't mean there aren't more mature adults out there who want to invest in your kids. There are retirement homes, assisted living homes, community centers full of those more advanced in their years who are dying for the chance to invest in little ones. If you don't believe me, start spending a day a month in those places. Take some time to ask about their past. It's worth it for you and your kids. 

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