Grandfamilies: Wanted–Grandparents

Batter upBatter Up! Ayden and Papa Rich. May 2009.

Lala, why aren’t you here with me? Cadence drew out the “here” to three syllables.

I heard his mother in the background: Cadence, hush! We talked about that.

I turned my face from the webcam and wiped my eyes as the boy continued, I wanted you to be here!

I know, Sweetie. We wanted to be there too. But remember how long the plane ride was? We had to work today. Our grandson was celebrating his fifth birthday at the family’s new home at Pearl Harbor, and he didn’t understand our absence.

I’ve been analyzing the data from the survey I conducted about extended families. One trend reminds me of that long-ago birthday chat: Nobody–not one single survey-taker–chose the response indicating too much time had been spent with grandparents. 

Some of the comments shared on these surveys crack my heart wide open: it’s obvious that many people have suffered through drama and even trauma in these family relationships. But still: Grandchildren who indicated their relationships with their grandparents weren’t the best never said they had too much time with those grandparents. Parents who said their relationships with their children’s grandparents were difficult didn’t feel their children spent too much time with the grandparents, either.

Somehow we know these family ties are central to our humanity, even when the relationships are hard. 

I’m not inclined to speak for God, but I have a feeling that families are a big deal to Him. After all, He starts right off creating one: We’re only 28 verses into the Bible when He commands Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. And throughout the rest of His Word, we find people described in terms of their familial ties.

We do well when we love what our God loves. To that end, Friends, I ask you–standing before you in my bare feet, head bowed in humility–I ask you this:

If amends need to be made in your family, please make them. Forgive–even if you’re not asked to. Ask forgiveness if you’ve inflicted pain. Do everything you can to set right the wrongs.

I am remembering that after loving His Father, loving each other is what Jesus told us really matters.

So let’s. Even the hard-to-love kinfolk. Especially the hard-to-love kinfolk. 

rabbit conga

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22:36-40 (NKJV)

rabbit conga

On Tuesdays, we’re talking about families and the joys and challenges that arise when we stretch across three (or more?) generations (child, parent, grandparent). Everyone is welcome, and I hope to hear each generation’s perspective.  Being family is by turns effortless, impossible, blessed, challenging, hurtful, joyous . . . . Let’s talk about it.
Please join us.

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