Friday, October 23, 2009

Grandparent to Grandparent

One of the beautiful stained glass
windows at Grace Cathedral SF
(photos from this post are from a trip to SF yesterday with our dear friends)

I think I have discovered something pretty cool about grandparenting. If you can possibly become good friends with your son or daughter-in-law's parents this is a wonderful gift for your kids and grandkids. I am not talking about things like just living in the same town and gathering with the kids from time to time as a large group. What I am talking about is having a desire to spend time together as real friends, when the kids are no where to be seen.

The side panels of the cathedral

I know, I know...some of you are shuddering and thinking...
..are you kidding me?
The very thought of your parents and his parents hanging out is giving you hives. But just think how much more cohesion that could give your extended family and what it would truly mean to your spouse. Or if you are one of the set of nice it would be for your posterity.

The Palace of Fine Arts, SF
Built in 1902 for the World's Fair
It was beautiful and the City was not crowded!

Enjoyed by all ~ for more than a century!

This is what I have discovered. All of our kids have married into our same faith~we all have a common foundation or operating system, if you prefer. Each of their families are strong in the gospel of Jesus Christ, share the same values, serve others and we all have common goals. Automatically we knew so much about each other from the get go. With very little effort it was easy to quickly just love the families of our new kids.

Over the past 12 years we have seen each other pretty often considering we live all over the country. We made it a choice to get to know each other better than was required of us. Consequently we have entertained each of the other grandparents in our home more than once, kept in touch by phone and e-mail and now blogs and we have become friends. Although our kids were the catalysts, our relationships with each have grown to become more than that.

To me this has benefited our kids and grandkids as well as us. This morning we just said good-bye to Lowell's parents who came to stay with us for a few days while traveling home to Nevada from Washington. Yesterday we went to San Francisco and showed them the sites from a local's point of view.

The four of us with SF skyline in the background

We explored several places had a fantastic dinner at the ocean's shore and then we went home and Mary Jane and I went to a musical performance while the men when out to Jim's work to do some guy stuff in the shop.

Mary Jane and Read
(Yep, that is how you spell. It is
pronounced like go read a book!)

One of the fun things we did was call our shared little granddaughter, Chloe, while driving through the hills of San Francisco. She was delighted to know both of her grandmothers were sitting in the same car chatting with her. When I told the bigger girls that was part of why I was leaving they thought it was really neat! Their other grandparents are going to Utah to take care of them while Jennifer goes to Italy to visit with Laura and family for 10 days in a few weeks. Chloe asked me to please teach her other grandma a Halloween song while we were together so they could sing it when Mary Jane arrives. Even though I totally forgot to teach her the song...I thought that was so cute. ( I better send MJ an e-mail with the lyrics to Stirring and Stirring and Stirring my Brew...!)

Sending it back through the Gate to get the spelling right!

Well, what I am saying is that I think it adds to the love and security a child feels when they know they really do have one big happy family, not just dad's side and mom's side. When there is no competition between grandparents and everyone just loves each other and the kids without a big is really great.

I am happy that we can give our grandkids this special gift and get to know some great friends in the process. Thanks for coming, Read and Mary Jane...we love you guys a lot and treasure the memory of the times we have spent together, with the kids but also at your house, ours, the Paris Penthouse (ha, remember coming up for the "drink", The Orleans (shrimp shell piles), baptisms, holidays and all the other times. It has been a blast!

Fort Baker's Surfing Cove, SF

Jim's prized photo! Love it!


Caroline Craven said...

I loved your post. Such good advice and hopefully something we can implement when the time comes. The Craven's and the McAffee's aren't very well connected; it is something I had never even thought of but would really like to do in the future for our kids. I love hearing great words of wisdom from someone who is just a step or two farther down the path than I am. Thanks.

LA Adams said...

I've really got to try this when my time comes, thanks.

Connie said...

What a blessing to your entire family, Bon! I love it!!!! :)

Sally said...

I think that's awesome!!

Marie said...

Wonderful post Bonnie. It's a wonderful thing to be able to get on with your children's in laws. It certainly looks like you showed your extended family a wonderful time! I loved seeing all the photos!

Deanna said...

I absolutely love Jim's prized photo! I admire the fact that it's been decided that a relationship with in-laws is vital. My family is the same way. I think it shows the younger folk that it's always important to keep both sides of family close despite however many miles might separate them.

I hope Miss Jen has a wonderful time with her sister. What is the weather like over there at this time of year?

Well, I'm off to go wash the dishes before I make some Halloween cookies!

Deanna :D