Grandfamilies: Summer Car Games #1: Dreaming Together

making wishesCadence, Papa Rich, and Ayden, Blowing Out Papa’s Birthday Candles. April 2011.

Big Dreams for Big Dreamers

Let’s play a game, boys, I chirped as we drove the boys home after a weekend overnighter. Let’s see how big a dream we can cook up. Just tell us your biggest, biggest dream.

Cadence didn’t hesitate. I want an Xbox, he said.

Ayden thought for a minute. I want to go fishing every day. 

Those are some great dreams, I said. Would you like to hear mine? I imagine that we have this big hunk of land somewhere, and we build a gigantic recreation room and kitchen in the middle. Then all around the rest of it, we build houses for every family group in our family. 

Then, any time you wanted to visit someone, all you would have to do is walk to their house! And when we wanted to, we could all get together and cook a big dinner for everyone in that kitchen.

So now, my first question is, who all do we need to build a house for? 


Well, I said. We need a house for Papa Rich and me. And we need a house for you, Ayden, and your mom and Tex and Carly and Casey. And we need a house for you, Cadence, and your mommy and Rob-daddy and Sawyer and Daphne. And one for your daddy and Kris-mom and Scarlet. 

The words set their minds to ticking. For the next several minutes, I listened as the boys embraced the topic and started naming households within our families.

Great-grandpa Rod and Great-grandma Mercedes!

Grandpa Tom and Grandma Joan!

Aunt Crissy and Uncle Joey, and Ryan, Annabelle, and Skylar!  

Uncle Ryan!


Uncle Tim and Auntie Anne and Craig and Allison! 

Those boys’ big hearts spilled out the names of all their loved ones–right down to a favorite kindergarten teacher.

Now, I said, what kinds of things do we need there? 

Papa Rich chimed in: a pool table.

Fun! I said.

Well, Ayden ventured, everyone will need a bed and showers and stuff.

Oh yes! Ok. We’re now pretending all that regular stuff is already there. What else?

A big-screen TV, Ayden said.

Yup! In the rec room, I agreed. What else?

A bowling alley! Cadence hooted.

Sure! Why not? 

Ayden said, Well then, how about a lake? 

Of course! And if we have a lake, then we need boats, right? And how about a chapel?

By the time we reached our destination, we had dreamed up a family compound (big enough for all the family and a few honored friends) that featured a bowling alley, a lake, a racetrack, a basketball court, a baseball diamond, a movie theater, an art studio, a wood shop, a gym, a zip line, and a rocket ship to Mars. Papa Rich even tossed in a source of income: an RV park and campground.

Our grandboys emerged from the car with a light in their eyes and s spring in their step. When we dream together, we share fun and we stretch young imaginations.  It’s not a bad idea to give our rusty old grown-up imaginations a workout, either.

One more element makes these dreaming sessions invaluable: We also get a chance to share values and priorities in the gentlest of ways. rabbit conga

26 “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
    and praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
27 You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,

    and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

28 “And it shall come to pass afterward,  

that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;

your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    your old men shall dream dreams,
    and your young men shall see visions.

Joel 2:26-28 (ESV)

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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