I have vivid childhood memories. Some of them have been delected from my memory bank, but there are some that stand out more than others. There were the years living in a four story apartment building on the top floor. The iceman would start out his journey to our apartment with a large chunk of ice and arrive with a small cube. Mother would carry the groceries up those four floors and I recall her making several trips to the grocery store so she could spread out the trips up and down the stairs. I remember spending summers at the farm of my maternal grandparents – making mudpies and feeding them to the dog, dressing the same dog in baby clothes and putting him in a toy high chair. We were not allowed to have dogs in the city apartment, so I took every advantage while I was at the farm.
My husband was also a city kid. He lived above the family funeral business, so had to maintain a fairly quiet childhood, but he made up for it when he spent his summers at his paternal grandparent’s summer house on the lake. There was a farm nearby where he learned to pitch hay and lead a horse to water. He remembers time on the lake as well and recalls when he was a young lad learning to swim. His mother donned him in a wool swimming suit. Can you even imagine wearing wool in the water. It would act as a sponge and soak up half the lake in just a minute. Add to that the fact that he was required to wear a life preserver jacket. After a few weeks of paddling around in the water with all these encumbrances, he decided one day to jump in without the life preserver. His father immediately called to him to put on his life jacket. As Paul got up on the pier, he accidentally kicked the jacket into the water and it immediately sank to the bottom of the lake. Wearing those woolen trunks and a useless life jacket accounted for his ability to learn to swim like a fish.
When we become parents we soon realize that it’s a risky business. You never know what each day will bring, but you can be sure it will be an adventure or a disaster. How you look at it is all important. There will be days that go smoothly and you really feel confident that you’re making a difference in your child’s life. Other days will bring disappointment, frustration, lack of communication and much more. One of the joys of being a grandparent is that you can enjoy the parenting without the responsiblity of the day to day stuff. It’s kind of too bad we can’t be grandparents first so we could get more joy out of the process, but then we wouldn’t be learning anything or teaching much. The one gift you can give your child, your grandchildren or even great grandchildren, is a love their heavenly Father – who forgives and loves unconditionally. He is the Father of all creation and has years of experience in dealing with the human race.
Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.