Saturday, September 13, 2008

Family, Who Are They?

A couple decades ago in a conservative Christian church you could find me on Saturday mornings with a group of children up to four years old. We sang, told stories, played with props, learned to give money away for missions and prayed together. My soul laughed every week. I loved it. Once as we were singing about family and holding dolls representing different family members, I looked at each child with their family in mind. We were singing about mom, dad, sister, brother, grandpa and grandma, but some of these children in front of me were foster kids, some were from single parent homes, some lived with relatives. So our song about family began to change.

Today I am particularly thankful for family. Last week our youngest grandson and his mom stayed with us for a few days. Holding that squirmy, two-month-old hunk, listening to him breathe as he slept on my shoulder, whispering a one way conversation as Papa rocked him to sleep, watching him smile into his mother's face, hearing him coo his questions about life...all elements of the glue that holds families together. Our oldest granddaughter is getting married next month. It is probable that our next grandchild will be a "great" one. The beauty of that idea replaces regrets of growing older.

Kindergarten began last week. Grace brought home her first teacher's note. One comment on behavior read, "We have been encouraging her to get the things she needs in the room on her own, rather than telling other childern to get them for her." That's my girl. Not afraid to take charge. Several times when mom asked what she had learned in school that day, Grace replied, "Today I learned to be nice." (Again!)

LESSON: Seek to know each family member as an individual person that you love.

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