Spreading the love with family dates

Enjoying some quality family time at the ballet

Enjoying some quality family time at the ballet

It’s not just prayer that keeps a family together.  For me the family that plays together can stay connected and building strong memories of love and laughter that define what family is.  As a mother to an only child it is easy to focus on spending time with her as it does not come with the extra hassle that come with making arrangements with adults.  With one child it is more of a grab and go scenario, but when you mix in different generations and preferences and time schedules things can be a lot more difficult to coordinate.  Even worst when all of the coordination is said and done some of the carefree nature and fun can be sucked out of the plans.  When done right, however, it is a great reminder of the lessons to be learned from both young and old alike.

I am blessed enough to have both my mom and grandmother to be able to spend time with.  Making plans for an age range from 12 to 86 is no small feat, however, in sticking to simple events like parks and movies and museums you open the door to real discovery.   This is not just a look into the assigned family role, mother, sister, daughter, son, granny, but also who the person really is.  Learning what the likes and dislikes and personal experiences of another person can change not only how you view the person but also how you view yourself.

It is a powerful thing to get a deeper understanding of the sacrifices those before you have made to provide for you and that as unique you may feel your story is, others have faced similar challenges and survived and thrived.  Plus there is something fun about seeing your parents or grandparents or even kids just being a person.  Once they let this guard down you see them just as someone who tries and fails, has loved and lost, and has endured more struggles then you can imagine if they remain for you just in their role in the family.  This experience is especially valuable to the youth as with age comes perspective it is difficult to gain from friends or TV or the internet.  Making these connections in not just in formal gatherings but in casual scenarios as well gives me the quality time I want with my daughter and insight to my village of the tools and efforts we need to jointly raise the child and sometimes even raise each other.

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