Last week I spent several days in Decatur AL with my daughter and grandchildren while they were on Spring Break from school. This family is amazing in so many ways.
First, it is astounding to me that my first-born grandchild, David Norman, is now six feet tall (we measured). At 15 that is quite a feat as his father is short (I’ll claim some of the genes). David wears his height well, standing tall, working on building muscle, with a clean sharp appearance. David is in JROTC and looks all grown up in the uniform. He is learning some good disciplines that he will take into adulthood.
Second, my granddaughter (and the only girl in the blended family of grandchildren) is absolutely beautiful! Her bi-ethnic heritage has given her deep brown eyes and beautiful dark hair that she wears long. As a blond shorthaired person I am absolutely taken with the depth of her shiny mane. At 13 Amanda Ruth is learning how to show her beauty with good cosmetic techniques. Look out boys! She's a head-turner. Amanda is also a very brave young woman who had met some personal challenges head-on in the past months working hard to overcome some of her demons. Pride doesn’t describe my feelings for the work she is doing in growing into a beautiful young woman.
Third, my daughter, as a single mom of two teenagers, is doing a fantastic job of parenting. It hasn’t (isn't) always been easy making ends meet on a teacher's salary with children who have lots of ideas about what is important in life on which to spend some of that income. But that is the small part of what she does. Jennifer Laura works daily (maybe even minute by minute) to teach her children how to be good, caring, smart, helpful, spiritual people. The teenagers do challenge their mother with life choices sometimes but she keeps tight with them and they work through their challenges. Keep up the good work, mom!
This family is generous. From time to time they open their home and share their small space with others while they "get back on their feet." This continues to amaze me, as it is so contrary to our societal push toward individualism and hording that which is "mine." Being open to making one’s own sanctuary a sanctuary for others is a practical decision that has spiritual dimensions.
Thanks for a great week of sharing, caring, and loving!
April 19, 2011