Taking Your Kids’ Kids – Part One
Last Sunday morning, a very bizarre thing happened. Like, weird. Super weird. When things like this happen, it reminds me why I don’t gamble: I am awful at predicting the future. I would never have predicted this. Before 6 am, two teenage boys were out of bed and beyond excited to go spend a week with younger children and grandparents. I need you to go back and read that sentence one more time. And I don’t mean that they were up and excited because we were leaving then to go to their grandparent’s house. We weren’t leaving until after church, after lunch. They were up because they couldn’t contain their excitement. And I don’t mean going to grandparents to watch movies, play on their phones, and eat junk all week. I mean do crafts and eat around a table and learn history and sing songs and play board games and sleep in bunks. I’m telling you – weird.
I understood why my children got so excited when they were kids. But I never would have predicted teenagers being giddy about this. But they were.
But there were two other giddy people in my house last Sunday morning: my children’s parents. Yep. For the thirteenth year in a row, I knew I was going to have Katie all to myself for an entire week.
For the thirteenth year straight, my parents put on what is affectionately and lovingly called “Cousin’s Camp.” I can’t say it without the Hallelujah Chorus going off in my mind. Heck, I think I may sing the whole song right now.
For an entire week – Sunday through Saturday – my parents take all children born of their offspring for an entire week. The only catch is that those who stay the week must be potty trained. If they can use the facilities, flush, and wash their hands on their own – they are in. And, as alluded to earlier, my parents don’t just sit around doing their thing while they let our kids do their thing. Phones aren’t allowed. Every minute is planned – with my parents right in the middle of it. Day trips. Swim time. Meal times. Game time. Craft time. Song time. You name it. . . . And they LOVE it! I mean, LOVE it. Again, I expected this when my children were young – but I would have never predicted teenage boys to be so giddy. But they are.
Needless to say, my kid’s parents love it too.
Now. Having said all of that, I understand that something like this isn’t for everyone. I get it. My parents are weird. Like, super weird. It is a huge undertaking that simply is not everyone’s “cup of tea.” I am not sure if Katie and I will dare to pursue a feat such as this. It’s just not for everyone and I get that.
I want to share some thoughts over the next few days that I hope challenge you a bit – especially you grandparents.
First, taking your kids’ kids allows for marriage renewal.
For thirteen years in a row now, Katie and I have known we have a week all to ourselves. She gets all of me. I get all of her. Sometimes we go out of town. Sometimes we barely leave Franklin. Wherever we are, what we do is – talk. Communicate. No agenda. No interruptions. No worrying about “ears” hearing what we say. Cousins Camp week simply allows my parent’s married children to look in their spouse’s eyes, take a deep breath, and just be together.
Some of you grandparents out there are worried about your child’s marriage. You’re concerned. I’m not saying this is the answer that will cure everything – but it could be a step to move things in the right direction.
What’s preventing you from taking your kids’ kids for a bit so that your kids can remember they love each other?
Tomorrow, another thought: taking your kids’ kids allows for deep layers of love.