Having our grandkids at our house for the whole month of July has been so much fun, but also very busy. In addition to tubing on the lake and going to the candy store and spending time at the beach, Cole and Peyton are taking sailing lessons at the Muskegon Yacht Club and they’re loving it. They are learning the techniques of sailing and all about the terminology that is unfamiliar to most of us. I think one of the most important lessons they are learning is teamwork because two people have to work the boat together. Teamwork is such an important lesson in life for all of us.
As I sit at home and watch everything that is going on around me, sometimes I feel helpless but mostly I am in awe of how our family is working together as a team to care for Cole and Peyton. Mark is keeping order to our home by cooking and cleaning and doing the boys’ laundry. Corey is making sure the boys have everything ready for sailing lessons every morning. He wakes them up, makes sure they are fed and have lifejackets and towels and sunscreen and he gets them to and from their lesson. Kelly, Chris and Bryan are all working 40 or more hours per week at their jobs and are still helping to provide fun for their nephews.
The reason I am writing this is because it reminds me of our busy lives many years ago having four active kids to raise. As I reflect back to those wonderful times, Mark and I did not raise our kids alone, we had so much help and support from others. We were encouraged by other parents in so many ways, whether it be a ride to or from an activity or just telling us something nice about what one of our kids said or did. Being a parent is tough, but when I think about it we were lucky to be supported by grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, teachers, principals, coaches and priests. Mark and I couldn’t raise our kids alone because it takes a village to raise a child and we were lucky enough to have an awesome village surrounding us.
I remember when Chad was in 5th grade and new to St. Michael’s Elementary. He was playing his first season of basketball and I was amazed at the support the parents showed him, our family and the other players on the team. I could tell right away that the parents weren’t just about their own children, they encouraged each individual player on the team. Mark and I experienced this beautiful act of selflessness with all of our kids and we felt truly lucky to have it.
Thank you for helping us raise our family.