One of the guys from our Friday morning coffee klatch (actually, we men call it a “guys group”) pulled me aside to let me know why he would not be there next Friday. “I’m going to Scottsdale to see my granddaughter in her school play.”
Of course I liked the part where he added “because of you.” I’m always challenging the group and asking them how they have actively engaged their families and connected with their grandchildren. “Ugghh—I don’t want to know what they are feeling!” some have responded. But today Art (not his real name) said “I heard you Jerry. It’s a good idea.”
Holding back full restraint from saying “I told you so” (I may have said “I told you so”) I’m moved by the idea of choice. How we make choices every day, and how those choices impact our relationships.
In this case, Art was invited on an annual trip that was very exciting and something he wanted to do. At the same time, however, he had gotten an invitation from his granddaughter to go to Arizona to see her perform in the school play. He’s gotten these invitations before and just assumed it was a courtesy. No-one really expected him to travel across the country for something that happens in the regular course of school.
This time he chose to go.
It is hard, takes time and money, but soon our grandchildren will be grown up and things like school plays won’t even be an option. What is it but all of those day-to-day things that make up our grandchildren’s world? This time he chose to be a part of this part of her growth and development.
Their world right now is school.
How do you enter their world? Reach them where they are. Find out what your grandchildren are reading in school and read the book. Go to see their sporting events or schools plays and concerts. And if you absolutely can’t be there, find an older sibling or other family member who can livestream while the event is going on.
Just as technology divides us, it brings us together.
Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Live…these are all platforms that allow you to see what’s happening in real time.
But you, my fellow grandparents, have to make the choice to make it happen.
What are your grandchildren up to this weekend?