I expect to see a scene like this in the near future. My wife and I have four married kids and nine grandchildren with number ten on the way. My youngest daughter and her husband, an avid Harley-Davidson motorcycle fan, are expecting their first child, a boy, this summer.
Even though our kids and their spouses are somewhat spread out over the Midwest, they go out of their way to get together and spend time with one another. That attitude has rubbed off on our grandkids also. They look forward to seeing one another and they count their cousins among their good friends. It has always been important to me that my two sons-in-law and two daughters-in-law feel part of this close family and I intentionally work to achieve that goal. Close families are important for the well-being of us all.
One-on-one time with my children’s spouses has proven helpful in creating a close extended family. This personal time with them often happens within the context of larger family gatherings. During these times, I make an effort to get to know more about my children-in-law and learn about their interests.
Recently, I’ve come up with a way to spend some one-on-one time with my newest son-in-law. He and my youngest daughter were married a little over a year ago and currently live in Wisconsin. Since he is a devoted fan of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, I told him that when the snow melts in Wisconsin, I would like him to take me for a ride on his bike. He is definitely on board with this. I am not particularly a fan of motorcycles and it has probably been thirty-five years since I was last on the back of a bike, but it will be a great way to spend some time with him. A new grandson will give us an additional good reason to make the trip to Wisconsin.
There are two reasons for this purposeful plan. One reason is to enter into his world to build my relationship with him while doing something he enjoys. The second is to express my confidence in him as a man. I want him to know that I believe he will always be a great husband and, soon, a great dad. It will strengthen the whole family and strong families are just what is needed these days.
Chuck Greene has 10 grandkids and lives in Jackson, Michigan, USA
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