June 21, 2009

grand Father's Day

It was a Father's Day, 13 or 14 years ago, and most of the family and friends had come by, with a barbecue planned for later in the day. I remember I was sitting on the couch, watching TV, some kind of auto race. Tracy's husband was sitting with me, he was an auto racing fan also. Krista, Tracy's daughter, and her cousin Leslie were running around and playing, like 5 or 6 year old kids would do. Krista was always rambunctious and energetic, often seen as hard to handle, willfulness was a term used often. However, she was always calm and attentive when she would hang out with me, always helpful and cooperative.

On that particular day, from time to time, Tracy would come out of the kitchen and tell Krista, "Be quiet." "Settle down." "Go play in the family room.", and other various attempts at trying to create calm and quiet. Finally, after too long, with little or no result, I called Krista over to me, and said, "Krista, you and Leslie go back and play in the family room unless you want to sit down here and be quiet." Her response was simply, "Okay. Leslie, let's go."

As she was walking out of the room, her mother stopped her and asked, "Why is it that when I ask you to do something, you argue, or ignore me, and go right back to doing what you were doing, as if I hadn't even said anything? But when Grandpa asks you to do something, you just go do it?" Krista looked at me, smiled, and then back at her mother, and answered, "Because when poo-paw says it, he means it." Then, she and Leslie took off down the hall toward the family room.

It had nothing to do with punishment or consequences; it was always about intention, and consistency, and purpose. Her connection to me was very different from others in the family.


  1. How well I understand this! When a older, wiser man speaks, we "girls" hear this right down to our very core. We can feel that wisdom, and wish to respect it. I had that kind of relationship with my grandfather.

    It is also that same feeling that I have with Daddy - older, wiser, his words filled with intent, and confidence. Just brings out the submissive right out in me, before I even realize it.

    All my friends are amazed at the way I follow him around like a love-sick pup. Me, an outspoken, well-educated divorce attorney, seeing to his every need, and loving it! I just tell them all that I'm head over heels in love with him, or twitter-pated as I call it.

    If they only knew the power he holds over me so easily..... *smiles*

    Thank you for sharing this sweet story. Makes me miss my grandfather who's been gone 30 years now.

  2. It's the most important thing to me in parenting, the follow-through. It's hard sometimes and there is regularly much short-term pain for long-term gain. But it's the best way in the long run.

  3. cutesy - yes, intent, and consistency, and purpose when applied to willingness and compliance can be a wonderful thing.

    kyra - absolutely, and I assure you there were head butts and locked horn in the beginning, but once she realized I was fair and consistent, and would not wear down, she began to find the caring for her underneath it all.