Changing times, changing roles

This week I'm Nana, helping with grand kids while their parents work nights. That's a different role than the independence I experience most of the time at home.

As I understand the Nana role, correct me if I'm wrong, Nanas aren't in charge. Oh, for some moments and some tasks, maybe, when parents aren't around, but not in the way Moms and Dads are in charge. And not when they're home.

Over time a parent's role changes from being a parent to helping an adult child be the parent. That's part of the Nana role I'm talking about. Tricky stuff.

It's challenging to slip wisely and gracefully into the Nana (or grandparent) role. Sometimes it feels like snapping on a scuba mask, squeezing into a wetsuit and fumbling with fins. It takes time and attention not to trip. I have bruises to prove it.

Wearing a Nana role includes slipping in a mouth piece. Good thing. It can get a bit bloody biting that tongue. Especially a big tongue like mine. Better to have something to slow down rash words and guard a hasty tongue.

Sometimes I've forgotten to slip on the mouth gear of discretion, and then -- ouch! -- down slam my teeth. But too late.
How easy it is to say something that offends, or do something, or not do something, or not say something! Whew!

Good intentions don't always reap good results. In those times I'm grateful for cleansing, healing prayer for myself and for whatever damage I may have done to others.  Then I remind myself to pray for wisdom before opening my Nana mouth again.
Yes, I know. Being a Nana doesn't always mean biting a tongue. Some things may need to be said but at the right time and in the right spirit. More often it may be wise to be silent and pray. Good communication helps. Forgiveness helps.  

Wisdom wears God's love in all interactions with adult children and their children, even if it feels like a tight scuba outfit and an uncomfortable mouthpiece at times.

How about you? What gear helps in your roles and relationships?


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