(Yesterday we got news that my husband’s long-time mentor and friend had passed away. Tim was a very good man and will be missed be many people. I consider it proof of a life well lived when your influence reaches so far, and your loss is felt so strong. . .So, forgive me if I get a little sentimental today.)
My husband and I made the rather difficult decision to go on our vacation to Hawaii alone. I can honestly tell you that I did NOT take that decision lightly.
I have come to despise the way our culture treats the reality of children. They are often not accepted in beauty salons, or restaurants, or theaters, and the list goes on. (I always take my children with me though. My very subtle act of defiance)
We treat children like they are pets, something to be kept at home, silent and out of the way. I get disgusted by the “accessory” mentality of some parents, who bring their children out—shinning and polished—but only for special occasions and family portraits.
The rest of the time their kids are shoved in back rooms, or left at home, with televisions or iPads.
(Please understand, my children watch movies often. . . I’m not ranting about the daily stresses of parenting, I’m talking about the overarching idea that children are simply a nuisance to be dealt with–or survived–it’s yucky.)
Anyhow, our decision to take a second honeymoon was made SO much easier by the fact that my husband’s WONDERFUL parents offered to watch our babies for the whole week.
I LOVE my in-law’s.
I love their home.
It’s a place where moments like this happen often:
You know what I’m saying.
It’s a home that just begs to be cuddled in, to have conversations over coffee, to sit on the porch with a glass of wine and watch the sun set, or the wind in the trees.
My favorite kind of home.
My in law’s are kind, God-fearing, lovely people who I trust will cherish and protect my children in the same way that I would.
This beauty is not lost on me.
I know that plenty of people are not as blessed with such grandparents.
The fact that I trust them is a HUGE deal, only helped by the fact that I know they trust the way I’m choosing to raise their grand children as well. Seriously, no one has a better relationship with their in-laws then I do.
I’m a lucky lady.
Not only did my children’s grandparents dote on them for a week, but they gently disciplined them as well. My in-law’s took their grandchildren fun places and created beautiful memorizes with them, but at the same time they did not allow my kids to be disrespectful.
And I appreciate both of those choices equally.
I don’t ever want my in-laws to step too far into the parenting role, I know that part of the fun of being Nana and Papa is the joy of lavishing love and affection without all the stress of the day-to-day struggles.
BUT, I also don’t think it’s fair for family members to literally spoil children, without enforcing any rules, to the point of undermining the authority of the parents or creating a lack of trust between parent and child.
Luckily, I have none of that to worry about. My children are blessed with Grandparents that love them as children but respect us as parents and we are able to walk the line of dotting and discipline effortlessly.
What a blessing!
After spending a fun filled week with their Nana and Papa-J, my children received a package in the mail from their Colorado Grandparents:
(Look at Little-Love’s eyes on that candy!!)
My folks are an EXCEPTIONAL blessing because my biological parents have passed away. My father died when I was just a toddler, so I was mostly raised my my step-dad, (who I call “Daddy”). It’s been almost nine years since my mother died, but despite the loss, my father has married a beautiful woman, inside and out, who I am thrilled to have as a step-mom (step-step-mom?? twice removed?? whatever, she’s my Krista.)
I call them my folks.
My children call them Grandma and Grandpa.
Family comes in all shapes and sizes,
and I have always loved mine.
I was also raised with a mash-up of Grandparents.
Between deaths and divorces I ended up with 6 sets of grandmas and pas.
And, while I loved them all, the truth is I was closer to my step-step / adopted Grandparents then I was my biological ones.
Blood only takes you so far, then time and energy take over.
So, here’s a big thank you to all the Grandparents, my children’s especially. You play an important role in our world and we would be lost without you.
Thank you for all your time, love, and energy.
Thank you for not treating my children like a nuisance. For not buying into the idea that children should not be seen OR heard.
Thank you for disciplining them in the same ways that I would, with love and understanding.
Thank you, Thank you.
There is nothing like the feeling of knowing that your children are loved in this world.
I can not thank you all enough.