Friday, August 04, 2006

Backwards Day

Three grandchildren were coming for a day-visit, and I wanted to make it special. In the ‘50’s my mom and dad were invited to a Backwards Party. The words on the invitation had to be held in front of a mirror to read the date, address, and time.

The night of the party Mom wore a yellow blouse backwards. I’m not sure how Dad got into the theme. I don’t think he drove to the party in reverse. Also, I recalled a fun fiction story by Guida Jackson, the theme, a backwards day at grandma’s house. My plan jelled.

The morning I picked my grandchildren up, the front motif of my blouse faced the back. When Jack age 8, Adam age 6, and Jolie age 2, greeted me, Jack said, “Grandma! Your shirt is on backwards.”

“Yes, because it’s backwards day at my house.” Each child got a hug, kiss and greeting, “Goodnight. I’m happy to see you.” Although it was early morning, I further teased them. “We need to get back to my house because it’s almost supper time.”

When we arrived home, I announced it was time for evening prayers. Eager little boys, right then, in the middle of the kitchen, said their prayers aloud. Even little Jolie folded her hands. Then at the breakfast hour, we had macaroni and cheese, juice, and steak fingers.

Our grandsons are known to get into a tussle from time to time. Imagine that. On this day, I warned if any punches flew, we’d implement the opposite. Yes, I told them they’d be hugging each other, a kiss included. No punches were thrown that day.

When the noon hour arrived, Jack said, “It’s time for our midnight snack.” Throughout the day, we reversed “Thank you” and “Your Welcome.” Six o’clock in the evening found us seated at the breakfast table dining on scrambled eggs, toast, strawberry jam, bacon and applesauce.

Our fun day with the grandchildren didn’t cost a lot of money. I’m not against spending money to have fun, but I am against spending money on entertainment and substituting the bought amusement for family fun.

Home settings and quiet times create sanctuaries where God’s values can be passed down. One of the main conduits for growing faith is families. God wants “generational goodness” passed down, not hate, bitterness and bad habits.

The psalmist Asaph said, “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done” (Psalm 78:4).

When I drove the children to their Grandma Olga Bazan’s house that evening, I looked in my rear view mirror, exclaiming. “This was the worst day of my life! You boys behaved miserably!” At first, shock registered, and then Adam said to his brother, “Jack, that means we were good.” Cute grins covered their faces and lit their eyes with delight.

At their other grandma’s house, I kissed them goodbye and said, “Good morning.” Later, I discussed backwards day with the boys, telling them that next time we’ll even take the day one step further. Early in the morning at our breakfast meal, we’re going to have dessert first!

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

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1 comment:

  1. I'm home a lot, too. But that's cause I've always been something of an urban recluse. I go days, sometimes, without seeing the sky.

    I'm just not normal. :)