Making a Mess

My wife is an excellent baker. She is also a fount of patience when it comes to sharing her love of baking with our grandchildren. Almost every time they visit our home, she plans to have them help her with a baking project. I find them kneading dough for fresh bread, rolling out the crust for a blueberry pie, using the juicer, etc.  The buzz of activity is endless…and it’s often an absolute mess with flour everywhere! 

My wife knows there is much more to every interaction than what is simply seen on the surface. It’s okay to be a little messy as they work toward a goal. To her, baking with the grandchildren is about teamwork. It’s about teaching the children how to cooperate. It’s about spending quality time together.  She is sharing something she loves with people she loves. 

This kind of engagement—baking or cooking with help from the grandkids—is always messier; always slower; always less perfect than if she did it by herself.  However, our grandchildren are learning from her. They are also engaging with their grandmother and growing in relationship with her and with each other.

As grandparents, our goal isn’t simply to feed the kids. It’s something much bigger, much more important. We’re building human beings—great human beings! Using our knowledge and our passion is key to helping accomplish that. 

When we share our skills with our grandchildren, we open future doors to share the most important part of who we are—our faith! 

I’m proud to say that recently, two of my granddaughters received second prize in a pie baking contest with skills they learned from my wife. They would have won first prize in making a mess. 

This article is from a talk Dave Hughes recently gave on thinking, praying and acting strategically to pass on your faith to your grandchildren.

Dave Hughes is the grandfather of 13 and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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