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Grandparents and Boys -- A Quick Musing

The role of extended family in the education and raising of children is important. Last Friday was Grandparents and Special Friends Day for the PK, K and Omega grades. In welcoming grandparents and special friends to Saint David's that Friday morning, I touched on our mission, "that they be good men." To reinforce the reason we have Grandparents Day and to explore how it ties to our mission, I shared a brief story. It follows:

At First Communion last Friday for the Second Grade, I noticed a beautiful dress worn by the sister of one communicant. Midnight black with red trim, the dress was covered with Chinese characters, off-white, each approximately one half inch in height. Its unusual, unique style was quite stunning to look at.  I examined the dress from a distance trying to determine whether the characters printed on it repeated themselves suggesting a repeating phrase of some kind; or not, suggesting a story or extended message. Or were they just graphic images for decoration? I decided to approach the 10 year old and introduce myself. I asked about the dress: "Do you know what your dress says?" The answer was a kind but apologetic, "No, sorry." Not ready to give up so easily, and sensing that there was at least a glimmer of interest in my query, I asked if the dress were a gift. She answered that her grandmother had given it to her. Realizing that a grandmother may be present at an event such as this, I inquired as to whether her grandmother was present. She was. Through an interpreter, I discovered that the dress did in fact tell a story—a proverb, if you will. Loosely translated it said: "At nighttime, just before bed, as I stand at the foot of my bed and look up, I see the moon; and when I look down, I see myself, inside myself, my life."

In this simple message written on a dress, translated for me by a wise grandmother, is in fact the reason why grandparents and special friends are so important. Moms and dads are often extremely busy with the present—making ends meet, getting though each busy day—dealing with the pragmatics of raising children. Grandparents though, a little removed from the day-to-day, and a little wiser having seen so much of life, are often the ones who take the time to help our children look up to see the moon and the stars, to hold onto that awe, the wonder of childhood for as long as possible; and who, because of their objectivity, knowledge and experience, can help a child find, or in some cases remember, who they are.

"The good" can be found here, in interactions and connections between the generations. This is why we have Gandparents and Special Friends Day at Saint David's.

The photo attached: PK taking a bow after a rather moving performance.


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