Sunday, January 5, 2014
Over the river (the Mississippi) and through the woods (Louisiana) to Grandmother's house (in Texas) we drove.
During our 15 hour car drive to Nana's house for Christmas, I announced my expectations for my children while staying at their grandmother's home. "By following these 2 simple rules, your time at Nana's house will be very enjoyable."
1. You will hug your Nana generously and without hesitation.
2. When Nana asks you to do something, you will say "yes Ma'am" and do it.
Let me splain.
1. Nana lives alone and does not get a lot of affection. She sees her other grandsons a few times a week, but besides that, moments of physical touch are few and far between.
BTW, did you know that physical touch is good for your health?
Check out this article.
And this one.
I tried to help the children understand that this is a way for them to honor and serve their grandmother, even if it means stepping out of their comfort zones to show affection to a person they see very infrequently. Forced intimacy? Perhaps. Just do it.
2. This 74 year old woman gets along quite well in her home. But there are things she has difficulty doing. So, in addition to hugging :), a way we can serve is to do whatever she asks us to do. The "yes ma'am" part of it, simply adds a pinch of respect and reminds us to perform our task with a pleasant, positive attitude.
Over the course of our 6 days at Nana's house, the children attended to these two rules beautifully. I was supremely proud of them. And I believe their grandmother was blessed by her time with them. Furthermore, I was thankful for the time in the car to de-brief. We talked about how the time was for the children and their perception of this experience. My 12, 10, 8 year old kids had a lot of great insight.
Do you have rules for your children when visiting extended family? If so, what are they?