Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What Could Be Better?

One of the best things about living in a multigenerational household is the everyday, yet special interactions my son gets to have with his grandparents. There clearly is a role they play in his formation that is a role neither my husband or I can fill. Sometimes the things that one of my parents is able to do with Jeffrey that Jeff and I are not particularly good at seem simple, but they are very important to Jeffrey.

For example, my son loves football. Now, in high school, I went to every high school football game for St. Edward’s so one would think that I would at least know something about football, or like the sport. However, I never actually paid attention to what happened in a game. I was in the Flag Corps and so I spent each game hanging around  with my friends and performing at half time. My husband and I take our son to football games, but we would be happy leaving after the half time show, while Jeffrey wants to stay for the whole game. He watches attentively, jumps up and down in excitement, and talks about what is going on in the game.

This past Sunday morning Jeffrey came up to me and said “Papa and I are going to watch the Brown’s game together today, so we need to be home from church by 1:00.” 
Papa & Jeffrey watching the game.
We got home from church, Dad made some popcorn and as Jeffrey snuggled up with Dad on the couch, I heard him say “What could be better than popcorn and a football game?”

They sat there most of the afternoon together and watched the game, they talked about football strategy, and Dad even taught Jeffrey a meditative art practice that he loves to do now.

Our kids have their own personality, their own interests and talents, which sometimes are not things that we as their parents like or are any good at. While we try to do these things with our kids because we know they love it, they just don’t feel the excitement and interest from us as they do from someone else who likes the same thing. It was a blessing and a gift Dad gave Jeffrey by sharing special time with him, and encouraging his love for something important to him. It was also a gift to us as parents who wish we could be the perfect parents but know there are some roles we can not fill for Jeffrey. I believe a child is happier and better able to follow their dreams if they have different mentors and guides in their life who can teach them new things and support them in what they love.

Both Mom and Dad support Jeffrey in what he cares about and they bring new things into his life that we never thought of. If we did not live in the same house, things like this would not happen. Even if we lived down the street, I do not think my parents would know Jeffrey enough to be able to interact with him in this way. Last year in school, Jeffrey drew a picture of his family. He drew all five of us, Beep (what the kids call my mom), Papa, Jeffrey, Mommy & Daddy. I am glad this is the way he sees his family.

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