Our modern lives as parents are so filled with the frantic back and forth to school, soccer practices, and to all sorts of other artistic and athletic activities and endeavors that we often forget to slow down and focus on the importance of family. I once heard someone say that families can have their issues and problems (and we all do) but that they remain a force.
The Importance of Family
Families help us to form our sense of place in the world, they solidify our identities and keep us grounded through the inevitable ups and downs that life brings. Family helps us to know who we are and from where we come so that we can go forth into the world with strength and conviction with a sense of what will bring us meaning.
Last spring, Marc’s mother Bea moved from Philadelphia into an assistant living facility outside of Washington, D.C. where her other son Michael lives with his kids. Although the ride there (almost four hours) proved trying, we were so delighted to have made the trip down yesterday to see Bea in her new happy home. Surrounded by friendly people and support, at 95, Bea is glowing with the happiness of having more consistent company, meals with friends, and fun things to do.
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You don’t teach your children morals and values by talking about them in the abstract. Rather, you teach them — in my view — by trying to do good yourself and involving your kids in the process. As simple as this may sound, spending time with grandparents and talking to your kids about the importance of grandparents can be a simple and concrete way to do this.
In Nana’s new apartment (housed within the lovely facility), Lachlan remarked on how similar he looked to his Dad at age 12!Here’s the lineup. On the right stands Marc’s nephew Eric who recently graduated from college and is working at a video game company. He’s a talented artist and curious, bright young man. You then see Marielle, me, Marc, Lachlan, Bea, Annaliese, Beckett and Hedley. Behind us hangs a painting done by Marc’s Dad, a self-trained artist.Elegantly dressed each day, Bea is considered one of the “best dressers” of the place. She’s made a lot of new friends. Many residents have led interesting lives rich with work and travel.As we spent time together as a family, we talked about the past and the future by way of our dreams. Eric and the kids shared what they might want to be; Bea discussed her life with Marc and Michael’s dad Herb and some of the adventures they had. Merely through seeing this strong, resilient 95 year old woman make her way through her day, the kids learned something invaluable about the stages of life.
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