Get with the beat. Music has the power to lift spirits when the blues set in, add excitement to an otherwise dull day, and prompt anyone within hearing range to get up and dance (sometimes while they’re sitting in a chair). I am blessed to be married to a man who is a music aficionado. It means my days are filled with happy sounds.
Our grandson caught the vibe, learning to play enough guitar chords to strum the opening chords of Smoke on the Water before he opted for drums. With his Dad’s approval, we encouraged our grandson’s musical choice by financing lessons through his school’s music department. Lessons were done on a single drum pad, so we dangled the carrot of earning a new drum set once he completed every lesson in the beginner’s drumming book he was using.
He began prompting us about the promise when he was nearing completion of lessons in the workbook. It was difficult to judge his proficiency, however, my husband and I decided to honor our promise. We prayed for God’s guidance in the selection. A few consultations with musical friends and product reviews later, we landed on a beginner’s electronic drum set. Our grandson accompanied us to the music store and practiced on a store model before we purchased a set. At our home where we set up the drums (because our grandson lives in an apartment), he took charge of figuring out how to manage the electronics and portable amp.
Our first opportunity to hear him play on a full electronic set was an answer to prayer. The following week, some friends brought guitars to jam at our house. Our grandson rewarded us by showcasing his strong, consistent drumming and flexibility to tackle new rhythm patterns.
Through this experience, we learned to let our grandson show us where his interests lie instead of directing him to do what we think is interesting to him. Isn’t that what we all want anyway? The Lord has gifted us all with different talents and abilities. Embrace them in your grandchildren, no matter where they go. It’s all part of a beautiful, diverse symphony of talents.
This week, my husband and I took our grandson to see the new Cars 3 movie. It is a family friendly movie with a revved up story line. While it entertained our grandson, we caught the message that we are to share our wisdom with future generations.
In the movie, Lightning McQueen is an aging patriarch of auto racing who becomes a mentor to a talented but underappreciated young female race car named Cruz Ramirez. Their road is filled with potholes, but both rise to the challenges. He is forced to face the fact that an exciting chapter of his life can now only be seen in the rear view mirror. Under his guidance, Cruz gains confidence to pursue her dreams.
Through the process, Lightning has to dig deep into his past to unveil timeless lessons about work, ambition, and relationships. He hits overdrive, applying old-school techniques to Cruz’s high-tech training. The idea is clear that younger generations are eager to hear from their elders, willing to learn from them. In return, their enthusiasm gives a power boost for older models. It’s a win-win!
For me, the biggest message of Cars 3 is that God gives us no retirement plan. We might be slowing down, but as long as we have a few pistons firing, God wants us to continue sharing what we know about Him.
Resist the urge to put on the brakes. Take your grandkids to a movie – or to a ball game. Get to know their interests, hopes, and challenges. Tell them what you know about living a life of faith in God. Remember to tell me about your time together at: SpiritualLegacyMemoir.com.
“What do you think Papa would like to get for Christmas?” I said.
“A fish hook. Papa loves to fish.”
My grandson has already developed a taste for outdoor sportsmanship and is making future plans to teach his children how to fish. Truth be told, he is already an accomplished fisherman.
I dutifully added “fish hook” to our shopping list, knowing something my grandson doesn’t know: my husband has only a modest interest in fishing. His biggest incentive to pick up a pole and tackle box is that fishing is an enjoyable activity he shares with our grandson. That thought stayed with me through the day.
During the past summer, my husband took our then 5-year-old grandson fishing nearly every day – just to be together. My grandson initiated their expeditions by saying, “Papa, this is a good day to go fishing.” They returned home with catch-and-release photos as proof they really did get the big ones.
Generational lines blurred and bonding took place while they sat on the porch, recalling everything they did during that day’s expedition. “The days I spend teaching him to fish will pass quickly, but he will remember our times on the fishing pier for years to come,” my husband said. Papa is right.
Their explorations have already left a positive impression on our grandson. Kids remember the things you do with them. I still remember helping my grandma pick flowers from her garden. Find out where your grandchildren’s interests lie, and make a point of spending time together, exploring their world.