Yesterday, part of my crew came over for dinner, and my youngest daughter cooked fish and slaw. I love her fish, mostly fillets of some fish. It is like she adds a secret ingredient that comes from inside of her to the cooking oil. I must have ate seven or eight pieces of fish yesterday, and I have already sneaked three or four pieces of leftovers this morning!
It was the cook’s idea to bring three generations of kindred to our humble home. She wanted my grandkids to know where we live. She brought five of her grandchildren, and my oldest son came with two of his daughters, one of whom had her little daughter. My oldest daughter’s son came also, for a total of 11 people across four generations.
It was a day filled with football for the adults and crafts from Michael’s for the children. I was reminded of why we moved closer to family, and I was filled with thanksgiving for being able to laugh and interact with the next generations.
Yet, it felt so funny watching my granddaughter parent her child and seeing my children being grandparents. I have loved my grandchildren with a fierceness that I couldn’t have imagined, always wanting the best for them and working to see that what their parents were unable to give them, I would obtain for them.
And my grandchildren are good parents, working for their children’s welfare and not afraid to discipline their children, albeit in different ways from the methods I used. I had to remind more than one great-grandchild yesterday that my generation believed in spanking, not time-out, and that I wasn’t afraid to apply some “discipline” on that backside.
I had to referee a misunderstanding between my son and his nephew, reminding each to act their ages, aghast that I had to put aside my kind nature and threaten two adults with bodily harm. I was reminded that we never retire from familial duties.
Every generation shoulders a responsibility to subsequent generations, living our lives as examples of the tenets and norms that we want our children to learn and pass on to their children. I wondered what their lives would be like if I had gotten sidetracked and failed to lie up to my potential.
Psalm 78:5-7 states, ” He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
Becoming a great-grandmother is surreal in that it seems unreal that my grandchildren are now parents with the duties and expectation to be their best for their children. I asked one of them, “How can you be a mother when you are just five years old?”
Of course, she is more like twenty-five years old (with so many, I can’t keep us with ages). In the continuity of life, I realize that by the time my great-grandchildren become parents, I might be only a memory in pictures and memories in the hearts of my grandchildren.
But, I feel a duty to teach, discipline, love, and help rear this new generation, in hopes that future generations that I will not witness will be great people, loving people, caring people, and people who trust in our heavenly Father, the Source of all my help. It is a tremendous task, but oh the joy it brings when you hold each new generation in your hands and lay them on your bosom.