There are so many lessons adults can learn from the lives of our children, but we are usually “too close” to the daily ups and downs to see and observe. We are too involved in work, life, raising our kids “the way they are supposed to be raised,” to really take a moment to reflect (for those who do take a moment, kudos to you!).
Grandchildren are a different category. Grandparents have the real opportunity to step back from the daily grinds…the plans, activities, ups and downs though I would be remiss to not say those do happen even with the grandparents.
Parker Palmer, in his book “Let Your Life Speak,” writes the following (p. 11):
“Watching my granddaughter from her earliest days on earth, I was able, in my early fifties, to see something that had eluded me as a twenty-something parent: my granddaughter arrived in the world as this kind of person rather than that, or that, or that.”
He goes on to say (paraphrasing a bit) his granddaughter did not arrive as “raw material” to be shaped by the image the world or others have for her. And he decided to observe her likes, dislikes, what she was drawn towards, what she steers away from, her movements, coordination, what she does, and what she says. And he decided to gather his observations in a letter and present it to his granddaughter later in life.
It is with this in mind that Adventures with Pa & Grandmama got started. Observing who our grandchildren are becoming, what gifts they possess, what peeks their interests, what makes them cringe, and what they say and do (and the corollary, what they avoid saying and doing).
Yes, at times we forget this essential role we have chosen, but it is at the heart of all Adventures: to help them discover who they are and are becoming, and to not tell them who they should be.
So, here is the re-start of the journaling of these adventures. Perhaps it is my way of creating a “letter” for my grandkids to read later in life…to see who they were while young and uninfluenced by the world “standards.”