“She opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26.
We are living with my inlaws while my husband is away on a deployment and it has been interesting to watch the relationship unfold between Caleb and my father-in-law. This is the first time we’ve ever lived near my inlaws since Caleb was born for an extended amount of time, let alone with them, so saying there has been an adjustment period is putting it mildly. Now Caleb doesn’t have just a mom to contend with – he’s got grandparents telling him what to do too!
My father-in-law, Mr. Ray, the well-meaning man that he is, can be a bit abrupt and to the point when he wants to get something done. Which doesn’t always go over well with Caleb who can be a bit sensitive when it comes to tone. So the pair of them sometimes resembles oil and water. But I have to admire Mr. Ray for trying – even when he gets frowny faces and resistance from the grandkid, he keeps after him. And that, to me, says love. And as a mom, I LOVE that he is willing to take the time to teach his grandson good hard work.
So my job in all of this is smooth out Papaw’s occasional roughness and run interference when exasperation (or border-line disrespect) on the part of Caleb sets in. Which happened today.
Papaw wanted Caleb to mow the yard with him (they take turns making loops, which I think is a great way to help him learn). To which Caleb’s immediate response was a frown. And my response was to explain (once again) that this is one way he helps around the house and it’s a great thing Papaw is willing to take the time to teach him and it’s a cool thing that he’s actually old enough to be able to do this now (which I don’t think impressed him nearly as much as I wanted it to.)
Today Papaw decked him out with new-to-him yard shoes.
And then they mowed.
This is his “I’ll let you take a picture but I’m not smiling” face…
And then it started raining. Like, completely dry one second and completely soaking wet the next. I wish I could have recorded the initial thunder burst and downpour that happened but it happened too quickly and I was inside when I suddenly heard Caleb yell, which he rarely does. The poor thing was standing in the back yard drenched, in the middle of mowing and Papaw had stepped around to the front. He was about to walk into the kitchen when Papaw came back around and said, “nope, gotta put everything away.” So in the rain they worked to get the lawn mower and the blower and other things picked up.
Caleb’s never been so glad to come inside and take a shower! (And look, I got a smile!)
What kind of relationship does your kids have with their grandparents? How do you encourage it?