So you’re all “nine-months old” now. Congratulations! It’s obvious that you’re having a good time and enjoying the exploring, discovering, experimenting, relating, and learning learning learning.
It helps, of course, that you are in a family where you are so completely loved and nurtured. Because even at your age – especially at your age – you’re beginning to understand that life and growth require community. You may have natural inclinations toward positive development, but growing up whole and healthy requires relationships of trust, faithfulness, mutual investment and unconditional love.
So I have a few tips for you; you know, now you’re feeling all independent and “on my way out the door.”
- enjoy your family: You may not realize this yet (although I suspect you already have an inkling), but you are already in the minority in terms of how completely your mom and dad are committed to your care and nurture. Hold on to that, it’s priceless.
- Stay excited about learning: British researcher Ken Robinson reports that a formal education sucks creativity out of children at an alarming rate. Those who stay motivated and eager to engage the wonder of discovery tend to come from homes where learning is part of the family DNA…
- Talk with God every day: This is another critical “family DNA” element. The reason you are curious, and creative, and loved, and relational is that your Creator designed you for “The life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:19). You were also designed to have an ongoing relationship with God. Without it, you are – quite simply – ill-equipped for making the most of your new and exciting life.
- Play your little heart out! Most learning comes via play. You, exploring your world, equals fun. And don’t be afraid of struggle, falling down, failing, frustration, challenge. That’s how you learn. In fact, you won’t learn much if you’re not willing to fall off a bike now and then (but DO wear your helmet…).
- Visit your grandparents often: Our job is to love you beyond reason, keep you connected to family stories, spoil you just a little bit, and teach you creative ways to keep your parents off balance!
So, dear wonderful grandson, I see you’re crawling now. By the looks of the little videos we get all the time I predict you’ll be walking by Labor Day. Look out, mom and dad, it just gets more exciting from here!
See the light coming in through the open door? That’s the future. That’s possibility! That’s God’s promise for your life! I can’t wait to see where it takes you. Just don’t try to do it all alone. We love you so much, and – I’ve got to tell you – life really is a great adventure!
Your Grandaddy Derek