Victoria Advocate, A Different Perspective
This year we elected to have our family Easter celebration at my daughter’s house in New Braunfels. Since our son was out of town, my husband and I volunteered to take our two grandsons so they could spend the day with their three girl-cousins. Here’s the way I explain our grandchildren…our son has sons, and our daughter has daughters. Get-togethers provide multiple teaching opportunities since, young as our grandchildren are, the boys are still from Mars and the girls are 100% Venus.
On the drive over, I reminded the boys that “girls are different.” I instructed them to act gentle instead of rough, kind instead of harsh. (I had to define “harsh.”) Eventually, it became a game. Whenever I mentioned it, which was often, the boys would recite “gentle and kind” like parrots, then they added other positive virtues. Patient made the list, along with peace and goodness. I added self-control. Emmitt, the seven-year-old, summed it up with BE NICE.
I had purchased a T-shirt for each grandchild at Victoria’s new-to-me Legacy bookstore. It has a great selection of cool inspirational T-shirts, along with a wide selection of Bibles and other goodies. My agenda was to get a photo of all five grandchildren wearing their new T-shirts, but from experience, I knew that endeavor would require finesse, if not a healthy amount of grace. The boys were easy—they donned their shirts with no fuss. It harkened me back to the days I shopped with my son. He wasn’t picky about clothes and made quick decisions.
However easy the boys were, I knew the girls would prove different, especially four-year-old Ellie. Pink is her favorite color these days, but there wasn’t a pink T-shirt in her size. I substituted with a blue one, replete with a sparkly unicorn, hoping she wouldn’t mind. She did. And it didn’t help that her sisters had pink ones.
Knowing this could be a deal breaker, I enlisted help from the boys. First, I asked David, the ten-year-old, to ask Ellie to sit by him for the picture. She might say no, I told him, but her “no” had absolutely nothing to do with him, and everything to do with being four years old. I also painted the scenario that it might push her into sitting with her sisters. That would still be a win, photo-wise. He liked the idea of getting her to do something no one else could accomplish. Emmitt also approved of my plan and promised to help.
Sure enough, when it came time for pictures, I showed Ellie her new T-shirt, and she announced in no uncertain terms that she didn’t want to wear it. When I added the stipulation that she could immediately take it off after the picture, she consented, mostly because I slipped the shirt over her head before she could object again. Somehow, I got them all downstairs—all those years of teaching came in handy—because I knew if we didn’t move fast, Ellie would balk again, this time with more intensity.
Fortunately, her boy-cousins heard their cue and chimed in with sweet invitations for her to join them on the couch. Flattered by their attention, she cooperated. It was a win-win. The kids enjoyed posing, and Mamaw snapped her pictures.
Best of all, the boys learned there’s more than one way to accomplish a task. We’ve all heard the well-known saying about doing the same thing, but expecting a different outcome doesn’t work. Jesus Christ said the Son of Man (a title he used for himself) was the stairway between heaven and earth. (John 1:51) When he came, he taught mankind a new way to live. If some area of your life isn’t working, you might consider asking Jesus how he would do it. He’s intimately acquainted with what it takes for us to win.