Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Refrigerator

Ashlee's ArtworkAJ's Artwork

Valentine candy and movies filled our evening while the grandkids were over. These are the pictures they made for me. I guess my blog looks Gramma-style today.

Yesterday, I sat in awe as the grandkids filed in then completely took over my thoughts and afternoon. It's amazing.

I listened, this morning, as they got louder and rowdier. I thought to myself, just let them go, you are the Gramma and you should only spoil them and soon their parents will return and they will go back home.

That crazy thought was shattered when they knocked over a candle and broke the holder it was sitting in. Alrighty then! I dried my hands and I left the kitchen to assess the damages. As I picked up the now useless pottery, I listened while kids began to bicker about just who was REALLY the most to blame for this unfortunate situation.

I decided making them sit down for a while would work for settling them down.

Is it right to keep the "Gramma's my name and spoilin's my game" attitude? Or should I spend the time I have with the grandkids disciplining too? What do you do?

Personally I have decided that the right behavior of our grandchildren is of more value to me than being their "best" Gramma-friend. I would rather be known as one of the Grandparents that took the time to teach important, right, life-long, how-to-live truths than to be remembered as the Gramma that just tolerated them until their parents THANKFULLY returned to pick them up.

One truth I believe should be taught children is love. What is love? I believe that love is actively helping, doing things for the other person. Love is shown by acts of care. For God so loved the world that He ... GAVE... Love is not some continual light-headed, giddy feeling, although I think that there is a time in life when that is a big part of building a love relationship. But that goofy feeling is not love. Love is so much more than stars in your eyes and baubles in your hands. Maybe so many people think it is and that is why they say things like... I fell out of love with you. If your hands are saying "I love you" how do they fall out of love? I think instead, they have "lost that loving feeling".

While I was dishing up lunch they all loudly began to say, "I love you Grammaloo!" "This is so good, I love you Grammaloo." "You are the best Gramma, I love you!" They each got louder as they tried to out do the others. I said, "That's enough with the I love you's. I want to see you tell me that you love me with your hands, .....not your mouths."

That began a good discussion. "What do you mean Grammaloo, saying I love you with my hands?"

"Yep, like instead of throwing your jacket on the floor when you come indoors if you would hang it up, I will look at that and know that you're doing that because you love me. Instead of kicking your shoes off and in the middle of the floor, if you would put them along the wall so no one stumbles over them, that means you love everyone that you are being careful for. If you throw your trash away and you don't leave it for me or someone else to do, that is saying I love you ...with your hands."

Hopefully someday they will remember Valentine's Day 2006 at Grammaloo's not because I gave them everything their little hearts desire, but because that was when we talked about love, and the way you can demonstrate your love with your hands and not only your mouth. It takes so much more effort, doesn't it?

So the rest of the day I was hearing.

"I'm hanging my coat up Grammaloo, because this is saying I love you!"

"I put your paper plate in the trash for you, because I love you."

"I made this valentine with my hands, because I love you."

This is something I learned later in life. What a difference it makes in relationships.

My grandchildren are eager to please me, and I have to say, they make me happy! But all that talk we did in hopes of learning a quieter way to say I love you has not diminished their loud words at all ----it seems to have increased it!

AJ, Lexie & Ashlee


Kerri said...

I have the same dilema with my nieces. I often feel I'm being too hard on them but letting them get away with everything isn't helping them any.
They behave very well while in my care and we still find ways to have fun. I've found that being strict and fun at the same time is not always easy, but it really is beneficial to all involved...they learn important lessons and I'm less stressed.
At times I feel I'm harder on them than their mother but when they have the choice, they would much rather be at my house than their own. Crazy how that works.

akeskileut said...

Good words and something to thing about. Your grandkids made you nice cards..:-) They are growing up so fast.

mrsjojo said...

Thanks for sharing the cards from the grandkids!! CUTE!!
It is refreshing to see a Grandma using the daily experiences to teach godly principles for living to your grandchildren. The effort it takes means love and the children become more of a blessing!! The payoff will reap benefits in the short and long run. Learning godly principles at a young age is so important and the lesson of doing things the way God wants us to live may be the harder road to travel but it is the way that reaps the most blessings for all involved. (how do you like that for a run - on - and - on sentence!!) What a lovely bunch of grandkids you have!!im
Your post of the I Corinthians passage on love reminded me of my party the other day. I always start my velentine's party off with the reading of that passage. I like to be reminded of what love is. I don't know why he didn't include "chocolate" in that passage though!! :)