For the past two years I have told people that we are the “Waltons.” Most people know immediately what I mean, even the young ones. They have watched The Waltons on Nickelodeon.
About two and half years ago my daughter Jewell called to ask if they, (she, her hubby and their daughter, Lucy) could live with us for a while. We had made the offer several times never expecting anyone to take us up on it. After checking our finances and looking into finishing out a bit more of the basement, we said okay.
August 1st of 2009 we went from a family of three to a family of six. Now, with the addition of Sean, Lucy’s baby brother, we are family of seven. Really though we are two families living under one roof, which creates an unusual dynamic. We have had to make the shift from parenting to mentoring, not sharing the wisdom of the ages until it is requested. It is very difficult not to offer advice until asked, especially from your own children. I am fortunate to have an amazing Mother-in-law, from whom I have gained much knowledge and wisdom, but I still had days of biting my tongue, and some when I should have but failed.
Jewell and Richie have just a few weeks before they close on their first home, so now that our years of being the Waltons are ending, I am paying more attention to privileged moments with them, moments that only come from living together. This morning Lucy (3 years old) went out to water plants with me. While we watched the potted plants soak up the water, she was talking to me. Lucy is very talkative so I will confess to sometimes not listening. I heard her this morning when she asked, “Gogo, do you love your best friend Papa?”
Children ask the most profound questions with no effort at all. I think God puts some of those questions into their mouths so that we can hear them. This one was adorable and made me smile. I heard my best friend Papa (Steve) chuckle behind us. I am blessed that she knows her Papa is her Gogo’s best friend.
This month we will celebrate our 34th anniversary and I am so grateful I can say I not only love Steve, I like him. He loves me with all my little (and big) foibles, needs, eccentricities and Irish nature. I love his sense of humor, integrity, and patience with those I think don’t deserve it. He is a man of God and I am so blessed to have had these two years to be changed as God drew us closer together. We are learning to honor and respect our daughter and son-in-law as grown ups, amazing parents and husband and wife who are on that incredible learning curve called marriage.