Grandfamilies: Crossing Swords and Crossing Fingers

boys vs sprinklerCousins Ayden and Cadence, Sprinkler, Football. August 2008.

Does a little conflict brighten your day? Do you enjoy disputes? I’ve heard that some people do. Me, not so much. Mornings, before I leave the bedroom, I cross my fingers and say a prayer for harmony and congenial relations.

Sometimes, though, something comes along and I can’t let it rest. It demands attention. Someone (maybe me?) has been wronged, and who doesn’t like to right a wrong? I buckle on my scabbard and charge in, determined to win. Crossing swords isn’t my idea of a fun afternoon, but if that’s what it takes to restore all that is right and good in my world, well–I like right and good. 

But here’s the thing: my right and good don’t always line up with yours. Maybe this whole mess started because you felt wronged by me. Then what?

We could stand here clanging our swords until the Rapture and all we would get for our troubles are blistered hands (and hearts). And maybe some residual tinnitus.

These challenges get messier when we’re family: to slam the door between our lives would be to seal our failure and who could bear the birthday card that never arrived again, ever after? Yet those ties that bind can also magnify. I think he knows me better than that! and you think how could she? 

I don’t have the answer for this particularly unpleasant state of affairs. But I have an answer: I could set down my sword and go on. 

I’ve learned something. I’ve marked a new tender spot on my mental map of you. Endless tiptoeing is exhausting, but I’ll do my best to plan my route to swing wide of that fragile landmark.

Because when you tell me, hey, that smarts, you’re also saying, I’ve handed you a sacred truth. Don’t treat it like a trinket. 

rabbit conga

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard,
Even Aaron’s beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon
Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forever.

Psalm 133 (NASB)

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.


  1. Beautifully Sid, my friend.

  2. SAID, dang phone!!

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