I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DID in the holidays, but I did something I’ve never done before. I spent a week with my very first great-grandson! Yes, I know: great-grandfathers are usually REALLY old – and I look FAR too young to be one. But a great-granddad I am. And my great-grandson is a cuddly little bundle of fun!
He’s cute, handsome, full of smiles, and itching to get into everything. He stole my breakfast scrambled-eggs three mornings in a row … made me play “This little piggy went to market” with his tiny chubby toes … and let me take him for walks-in-his-stroller. Then, to cap it all off, one balmy evening he fell asleep in my arms. And he looked so peaceful and trusting and vulnerable that I felt a bit choked-up.
I wondered about the world he’s been born into, a world that’s not always kind to kids. I wondered what he would do … where he would go … who he would meet … how he would cope? Yes, his parents adore him. He’ll be loved to bits. And his home will always feel good. But what about his WIDER world, the nastier bits, the stuff we can’t control? I mean, there’s still too much ugliness out there waiting to rob kids of their potential.
Right now, my great-grandson’s only nine months old. But what when he’s nine YEARS old … or 19? What then?
And that’s when it hit me …
We’re not helpless, for goodness sake! If we can save whales, rescue trees, and conquer outer space, we can help make New Zealand a healthier place for little boys and girls.
The Government can’t do it all. The Government can’t hug kids. It can’t tickle kids on the carpet, or play ball with them on the lawn. It can’t read kids a story at night, or giggle with them at the movies, or help them make a tree-hut, or take them fishing. The Government can’t give them emotional warmth, healthy limits, the knowledge they’re wanted and loved.
No, these are jobs that only FAMILIES can do.
So what are we waiting for?
JOHN (GRAPEVINE’S FOUNDER) HAD FOUR GREAT-GRANDFATHERS, NONE OF WHOM HE EVER MET – PLUS TWO GRANDFATHERS, BOTH OF WHOM WERE GREAT. BUT HE DIDN’T STEAL SCRAMBLED EGGS FROM ANY OF HIS ANCESTORS.