Tag Archives: learning

To Our First Great-grandchild

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We met our first great-grandchild a couple of weeks ago. She is, of course, the most beautiful great-grandbaby ever born, although I am sure many other people may have felt this way about their first great-grandchild. They simply have not seen ours yet.

I am always fascinated and amazed as I watch little babies, newcomers to this world, grow and realize their potential to act with the bodies they are in, and then to deal with the world around them. When you think about this, it is awe-inspiring what little ones are capable of doing after only a short time here.

We all went through this, of course, but we don’t remember it, probably because our growing brains get filled with so many complex things as we grow that those first, rudimentary steps are quickly forgotten.

My first memories go back to when I was about three years old—just flashes of early experiences. But I can still remember some of the joys in the perpetual motion of childhood—running against the wind, climbing trees or the backyard swing set, jumping off of walls or other high perches, hopping, skipping. Have you ever noticed that little children almost never just walk somewhere? After they learn to walk, they run or skip or hop everywhere.

It seems as though the spirit child of God living inside that young body just can’t get enough of learning how to use it.

Blessed are those little ones whose loving parents teach them the right things to do with their bodies.

I wish I had enjoyed watching my own children grow up as much as I have enjoyed watching my grandchildren. I was too self-focused, too concerned about how my children’s behavior might reflect on me as a parent. On the other hand, I have truly enjoyed watching my grandchildren develop their intellectual and physical capacities. They amaze me with some of their accomplishments and talents. (And yes, I realize that your grandchildren are equally as talented and beautiful as mine.)

I want to say to our new great-granddaughter, “Welcome to this world, little one. It can be a very happy, very joyful place. In time, you will find there can also be sorrow and pain. But those can wait. For now, enjoy all the learning and growth that lie ahead of you. There are so many people around you, starting with your parents, who want to help you learn how to experience all the joy that can be found in this life.”

As great-grandparents, we’re deeply grateful that your parents are determined to help you learn how to walk by faith in this life. That way, even when the body you’re living in is no longer new to you, the spirit inside can always continue growing. It is made to go on learning through eternity.

 

Lessons from My Grandchildren

I wish I had enjoyed my own children more when they were the age that my grandchildren are now. But I think that sometimes I was too busy being the Father to be a good dad. Some of the joy I felt at being with them was eclipsed by the weight of the responsibility I felt to be a good provider and teacher. I did OK with the provider part, but I’m not sure about the teacher.

And I’m not sure I was ever the daddy that I missed while growing up as the son of a widow.

Izzy 5Aug14_0485Lately I have been involved in writing some gospel lessons for children. Trying to see the lesson topics as my grandchildren might see them has helped with the work. It has also helped me recognize some of the lessons I have learned from my grandchildren.

From a three-year-old granddaughter: Why walk anywhere if you can run or jump or hop? Don’t take simple things for granted. Isn’t life always supposed to be new and exciting like this?

From an eight-year-old grandson who can’t conceive of a world when there were no computers: Don’t wonder if you can do something. Just go ahead!

From a nine-year-old grandson who has learned that the world can be disappointing sometimes: Just because other people are unkind or unhappy, you don’t have to be that way too.

From a 10-year-old granddaughter who has dealt with a lot of challenges in her short lifetime: Children are very resilient and often capable of more than we expect of them.

From a twelve-year-old grandson who has been designing 3D models of things in his head for half his lifetime: Creativity is inborn in all of Heavenly Father’s children, but it comes out in different ways in all of us.

AC Paul Aug15_P1040201From a 12-year-old granddaughter, her 13-year-old brother, and a couple of their 15-year-old cousins: There is a lot of talent and intelligence packaged up in those young minds and bodies. With encouragement and support, they will be able to do great things. And if you can get them to talk, they’re fun to listen to.

I could go on. Every one of our 18 grandchildren has taught me. It’s a privilege to be associated with them.

It’s a privilege to be associated also with my children. They have all grown into fine, intelligent individuals, more because of their mother’s influence than mine. I love to think of them as friends.

I just wish I had been more responsive to their joys when they were growing up.