This evening Vickie and I sit in Sanibel, just the two of us!
But tomorrow, God willing, at this time, the house will be teeming with our two sons their two spouses and two kids belonging to each of the two couples.
In an instant, two will turn into ten, and we are so excited.
We have looked forward to their visit for months. We purposely rented a house large enough to accommodate our kids and their children whenever they wish to visit. Having our children visit was integral to our vision when we decided to come to Sanibel.
Vickie has stocked up on so much food, that you would think an army platoon was landing. Neighbors and new friends have lent us a crib, an air mattress, a bicycle with a baby carrier in the back, boogie boards for the beach and so much more.
Another friend has offered to take the whole lot of us out on their boat, Vickie and my daughters–in—law have burned holes in the cell phone and text lines planning activities for the visit.
We are super excited! We just can’t wait.
And yet, in the back of our minds, we know: the dynamic of ten people in relatively small space for several days, with four of them ten and under could certainly lead to conflicts.
Vickie and I love our children and grandchildren with all of our hearts, souls and minds. And we are blessed to know that they love each other the same way.
We also both know there is no foolproof formula to insure that “a good time will be had by all,” but there are a couple of things we shall try to do to stack the odds in our favor:
- As the Psalmist wrote: “Appoint, O Eternal One, a guard over my mouth.” (Psalm 141:3) We both know well that a sharp word that we carelessly allow to escape our lips can foul everyone’s mood. We will be vigilant.
- Listen more than we talk. We have grown to love this island and its many opportunities to experience learning, beauty and fun. We have ideas on how to spend our time together, but our activities should be guided by our children’s preferences and their better knowledge than ours of what will be best for their children.
If Vickie and I allow nothing to veer us away from these two goals, then with a healthy dose of prayer and hope, we see the days ahead flying joyfully by at warp speed.
And when next Vickie and I are alone together, may we catch our breath, look at each other and say:
“We cannot wait until the children come again.