This past Memorial Day weekend we had the pleasure of entertaining five of our grandchildren, ranging from 2 to 9 years old. They arrived from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Texas and Washington D.C. These cousins get to see each other a few times a year, but this event is only for them, parents are excluded from what we call “Camp Fun.”

As we all know, working with really young children, dealing with accidents, sharing toys and gaining agreement on a movie can make high powered business negotiations seem like a walk in the park. It always amazes me to see how different they all are, and how much of their personality and traits are formed at this age, but also how adaptable they are.

After a few days they find themselves enjoying new foods they would “never ever eat,” changing their opinion about something they were previously scared and learning to laugh at themselves. One grandchild announced sadly on a Sunday morning that his cousin had “broken his feelings.” While the surrounded crew responded mainly with laughter at his choice of words, (Obviously was looking for “hurt my feelings”) he cried for a few moments and then burst into laughter himself as he realized he had said something which everyone found funny. Feelings mended apparently in a few seconds.

It is this ability to change and be flexible is always amazing in young people. A situation that was a crisis a few moments ago is now the best moment of the day, and some perfect knowledge to hang onto the next time they arise.

These weekends and weeks we spend with the grandchildren sans parents are wonderful learning and loving moments for all involved. We can relax some rules, enforce some new ones, and expose them to a different experience in the community of cousins. They love these days as we do.

God is so present in this tiny souls; it is great to see how fast they can be turned towards Him. How they oscillate between sympathy and conflict and back to reconciliation with each other. It is impossible to have a small group like this on “not speaking terms” for an extended period. Not just because of the problems caused, but the children want resolution, even if they do not have the tools to do it themselves.

There is so much of God’s love intermixed in this soup it is a joy to watch. How much more could we learn from our situations, as many families move through the pain of another holiday passed with separation from those we love.

Perhaps God, through these children, can show us the beauty of a simple love, forgiveness, and that dialog is the first place to begin a new beginning.


Listening with intention over supper

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