we spent this past weekend with the kids' great grandparents. my grandparents live in a retirement community about 5 hours away. and though it's not that far, with little kids it is that far. but the kids are super lucky to have great grandparents. great grandparents who adore them. and that is a relationship we really want to nurture as much as possible.
what amazing heritage they bring to our family. amazing insight. amazing stories. amazing examples. they have been married for almost 66 years now. 66 years! how amazing is that?!? what a beautiful example of love, commitment and the true meaning of marriage. this is what i want my kids to see. that marriage can stand the test of time. that this is their inheritance. a loving, committed marriage.
so we spent our weekend just visiting. no plans, no agenda just being together. we stayed with them in their two bedroom condo. yep, all eight of us. plus their dog. and you know what. it worked. the big kids loved that they got to sleep in the sun room. we walked the dog - a lot. i think poor spunky began to dread the sight of his leash. we learned how to feed the birds and watched them quickly find the food we left out.
we got to talk alot and get to know each other better. i love the picture below of asher and great grandma deep in conversation. when the kids went to bed we got to hear stories about my grandfather's childhood, his family and the things he remembered of his grandparents. oh, if only we had had a tape recorder. it will definitely be with us the next time we visit.
we got to swim in their pool. we got to get fresh midwest summer corn. we got to ride on their boat. poor asher was nervous. really nervous. but great grandpa was great with him and daddy held him and in the end he smiled up and said (unprompted) "great grandpa, you are a great captain. thank you for taking me on your boat." and isn't that what it's really all about? standing together as a family when you're scared (or whatever) and supporting you through those things, letting you emerge on the other side braver, stronger and more confident in your self.
and in the end, we got a picture of our amazing little family - supporting each other in great grandma's fun blue chair.