by Dan Seagren
Posted: May 10, 2009
During their Spring Break, we had the honor of having our grandkids with us for a week…
Today a TV telecaster mentioned a study saying that kids (children, not goats) are [one of] the sources of marital woes. Now, that's hardly news. Kids can cause problems between spouses just as they can give them an enormous degree of satisfaction.
During their Spring Break, we had the honor of having our grandkids with us for a week. Since they live in Minnesota and we live in Michigan, we don't get this honor (pleasure) very often. Sure, we see them quite regularly but more often on their turf. Now they were on our turf with our home, its idiosyncrasies, unwritten rules and possibly some old-fangled ideas.
Of course, we had a couple of senior moments but nothing serious. Our twelve-year old is a whiz on the computer. We had a nice family dinner (with uncles and aunts included). Then we decided to play a word game. It went OK but she (the 12-year old) disappeared, zoomed down to the computer, and returned with a very complicated word game (most unlike what we had been doing). In the maze we had to find both names and words previously suggested. Most of us were not too successful.
Our nine-year old grandson was interesting to observe on our turf. The first day he carefully examined numerous things around the house. He was most gentle as he looked each item over, and then replaced it just as carefully. Toward the end of the week, he confided in me his business plan for the summer.
He (and possibly a partner or two) would become entrepreneurs. They would set up a lemonade stand with other amenities. It would be portable (with his dad's help) so they could relocate if business lagged. He then added they would like to raffle a book (he knows the author). He even estimated how much money they could make. I listened with interest.
In our culture with so many single-parent homes, absentee spouses, pressures galore, kids may too often be blamed. As for me, I could hardly think of a better invention than the extended family: parents, children, grandchildren, cousins, aunts and uncles in closer proximity. In short, could the extended family be reinvented for better results? Impossible you say? Unlikely? Perhaps. Worth a try? I'll let you decide.
Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.• E-mail the author (su.nergaesnad@brabnad*) • Author's website (personal or primary**)
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