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Posts Tagged ‘Up’

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It was not until I was dating my hubby that I discovered what a PK (Pastor’s Kid) was. Now there are three under our roof.

I have written before of some of the struggles of growing up PK (PK’s), but all is not negative of this experience! There are sweet benefits too.

One of the sweetest benefits for our kids is that they learn, from a very young age, how to communicate with people of all ages. They have spent time in homes with younger children, peers, and no children. They have gone to homes that are ‘child-proofed’ and those that have crystal candy dishes and lace doilies.

The best education our children have received from this life our family lives, is from being with those who are older … retired … elderly.

They have learned (although, like all of us, sometimes forget) to speak so that those with hearing problems can hear what they say. They know to make eye contact when being spoken to.

Most important, in this exposure to those much older than them, is that they see them as individuals to honor, respect and treat well.

One day, years ago, hubby took our preschool son to work with him. As the work day progressed hubby got a call about someone in hospital, and he had to go … alone. He was desperate for child care, and dared to call a lady who lived across the street from the church to see if she would mind our boy. She was elated to be asked! An hour after dropping our son off at her home, hubby returned to find the two of them playing on the floor with cars, complete with car noises. This boy of three or four playing with his new best friend, in her late eighties!

Our eldest has been taken out to lunch, taught how to bake special cakes, and given art lessons by sweet-hearted women who have invested their time and gifts into her life.

Our younger daughter has sleep-overs with one of her best friends (in her eighties), and has a gentleman (in the same age range) whose house she biked to (and made cookies for) on his birthday, to celebrate with he and his wife.02b820d10639ee5a4b27ac1c3b030f0c

Our son, although thirteen, knows how to hold a conversation with the lady (same age range) who refers to him as her boyfriend. And he can smile genuinely when she calls him that.

They have done more senior visits than some pastors. They have learned to eat off of handed-down china (this being more stressful for me than for them). They have played games, shared jokes … shared their lives, with these beautiful seniors. Our children have had the opportunity to see these elder members of the community not as old people, but as fellow human beings, with worth, meaning and so much to contribute.

To some, spending time with a senior might, as Russell from the Disney Pixar movie “Up” said, “might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most.” And I think our kids will look back, and see the beautiful education on being human this PK experience has provided for them.

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“I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you, I always wanted to live in a neighborhood, with you …” so sang Fred Rogers.

I can’t say that I ever wanted to live with the particular neighbors that we have, but I am so thankful that they are my neighbors just the same.

Often I have written from the negative perspective in regards to our house. How it is too big, takes too much of our time, too much of our income, too much of our life.

But all is not negative when it comes to our neighbors. As a matter of fact, our neighbors (on all sides) are the best part of where we live.

On one side there is a professional couple who are rather newish to the world of grand-parenting, and are well on their way to great and joyous success in this area of life and living.

On the other side there is a lovely dutch family with … maybe a dozen kids (inside Dutch family joke) and even more grandchildren between here and the province of Alberta.

A few houses up the street is the family of our kid’s friends. Their son being a year older than our daughter, and their daughter being a year older than our son. They all play on the streets, walk their dogs, play video games and swim in the pool. That one family’s presence in our daily life makes me guilty every time I speak of wanting to move, and they are the main reason we stay right where we are.

There are many more neighbors who we are so very thankful to live near to.

And then there are the neighbors across the street. She retired from the local school district, and he semi-retired 😉 (if you knew either you would know that they are the most active ‘retired’ couple around).

When we moved in, they were grandparents of one granddaughter, who was barely beyond toddler-hood. Each day her mom would drop she and her dog off for Gramma and Gampa to care for her while she was at work. And then the games would begin.

They have the best kept yard and home in the whole neighborhood of seventy-plus houses. And they amaze me at how they are able to work in their yard and stay clean themselves (for me yard work requires ‘work clothes’, and a hose down before entering the house).

Our eldest and I have watched them from our yard, as they played with, cared for and loved their granddaughter … both of us with a longing for that physical closeness for she and her siblings.

Our second daughter, although five years older, has spent hours playing with their granddaughter, walking dogs, and sharing their imaginations.

For hubby and I, they are such a sweet pause from yard work, fountains of information, and trustworthy mail picker-uppers. They have kept us informed when the coyotes were being seen too frequently, when someone was robbing vehicles in neighbors yards, and when our dear neighbor died far too young.

They were also the most gracious of victims about a year ago when our car ‘mysteriously’ decided to drive out of our garage down our steep driveway and smack dab right into the middle of their planter. When they came home to see their new garden decor, they laughed with us, and were thankful with us that there were no children on the street when it occurred.

But, our son … I cannot say I have ever heard of him speaking of them in all of the eight years we have lived here, other than the neutral, “they are nice.” Then, one day this summer, as we drove toward home, he pointed to the lawn mowing couple, who we love, and said, “Mom, they are just like that couple from the movie “Up”.”

And I smiled, and realized that their lives are so filled with such a magical love for others, for all living things and for each other that it is even visibly obvious to an adolescent boy.

“I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you, I always wanted to live in a neighborhood, with you …”

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I saw the quote to the left the other day, and pondered it’s words and message.

I have read all of the “Twilight” series (minus the last … one day I will get it read too) and really enjoyed the story it told. I also think that Stephanie Mayer is a brilliant and captivating story writer. But, would I call the Twilight books a love story? No.

And then I re-watched a video clip from the Disney-Pixar hit, “Up” …

It was in the short second half of the eight minute clip that starts the movie, that a love story is told in a most sensitive, genuine and real way. It is in the story telling of the life story of Carl and Ellie that a love story is constructed.

It is the story of a couple who were not perfect, who were not popular, who were not wealthy, who were not successful in all that they pursued, who did not achieve all that they had set out and dreamed of doing.

But, it was also the story of a couple who worked together, who dreamed together, who experienced joys and sorrows together, who were committed to each other … together. And it is that, their mutual commitment and doing together that enabled them to live the love story.

That is my idea of a love story. And I don’t believe that you need to be animated to live it!

Check it out …

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