Friday, May 16, 2008

My grandchildren and my work. . .

My grandchildren occupy an extraordinary place in my life, better, my heart.

Gracie turned 6 at the end of March. Wyatt celebrated his fourth birthday early in April. Owen blew out his candles in early May for the second time.

Wow, do I love these kids! Words don't work for me when it comes to these three little ones. Nothing is better than being with them, listening to them, playing with them, just watching them.

I think about them all of the time, for obvious reasons related to family and my love for their parents.

But, I also think of them when I consider what every child needs and deserves.

My grandchildren will grow up with every advantage imaginable. They will be given a huge headstart in the game of life.

What they have, all children should have.

I have to admit that much of my vision for my work is formed by what I know about these three little people, their blessings, their imaginations, their needs.

I also know and understand at a deep level that my feelings for my grandchildren are shared by parents and grandparents across the city, no matter what their socioeconomic standing or their current possibilities.

Working hard to see opportunity and possibility offered to every child seems like a good thing.

March, April and May have become very special to me and my family. It's a season about the kids. I choose to believe that same thing is true of what we are trying to accomplish with our work in the lives of children and their families who just happen to be lacking in so much that my family takes for granted.

Happy birthday, little ones. Granddad loves you more than he can say.



Janet said...

I so agree with you, Larry, about my work being shaped by the other little people in my life. When my 3-year old neice and nephew carry on a conversation about rodeos, zoo animals, Bible stories, and even trapezoids and pentagons (yes, true story!)...when my 2-year old cousin could name all of her shapes...when my 3-year old cousins were going to computer classes and gymnastics... I always think of the kids I'm around here and think about what I can do to convince people at a systemic level that the activities and experiences that develop my family should be available for every child so we can see all children reach such amazing potential.

Greg said...

I'm not a grandparent yet, but have a friend that always says that grandparenting is the only thing not overrated.

Leslie said...

I will be a grandparent for the first time in July. I am excited!
However, I have been playing the roll of the grandmother and the aunt to a neighborhood of children for the last 6 years. I have tried to give to them all that my mother gave to me. She exposed me, to culture, the arts, etc. One year we went on a summer adventure from Seattle, WA to San Antonio, TX, stopping in various cities along the way, on the Greyhound. And just 2 years ago my mother, took my Grandmother and my daughter on a road trip to Montana, just for the experience and the knowledge that was gained through it. Everyday, I am trying to find ways to give the children in the neighborhood these types of activities and experiences. They need to be exposed to things that they would not otherwise be exposed to. If we don't give them exposure to the world outside the one mile radius around their homes we will produce another generation just like the last.

Anonymous said...

No one's said it yet, so I will, what cute kids! How wonderful that they can also be so inspiring.

Dean said...

Such a simple, eloquent way of living out the "golden rule" of doing for others (our neighbors' children) what we would have done for us (our own children). What I love about CDM is the seriousness with which you have attempted to apply the teachings (and example) of Jesus in your work over the last 20 years. No other strategy or "business plan" could ever transcend the power of this simple principle. I thank God for CDM every day.

Carol Beasley said...

My son-in-law sent me the link to your grandparenting comments. We moved from San Antonio to Ridgeland, MS, to follow our grandkids. When our first was born in 2000, my world view changed immediately. I saw EVERYTHING differently because of Isaac. "How would this (and every)decision affect his future?"
I guess we should all see things differently because of children everywhere...decisions made today affect them... environmental decisions, political decisions, church decisions, etc. Grandchildren make our days lighter and brighter, and make me want to take better care of our world in order to give it to them in a healthy condition.

Larry James said...

Thanks for the comments. Children are what it's all about, aren't they?