Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Don't be a Javelin Catcher, Grampa!

We've been reading about the many wars in the Book of Mormon.  At the end of Chapter 51,  Teancum steals inside Amalachia's camp and ends the wicked king's life with a javelin.

After all the Nephite cities that Amalachia captured, I can't blame Teancum.  Of course he gets his comeuppence in the next chapter, but for a while, the good guys win one! Evil loses a bad guy in Amalachia!  Once again the Nephi/Laban

Ever wonder why there's so much WAR in scripture?   I believe it's part warning and part allegory.  War goes on inside ourselves as we confront temptation, no matter how much we try to avoid it!  Building fortifications within ourselves is always wise.  Our current prophets and leaders on every level are always explaining the techniques for battling our modern attacks, if we are wise enough to build on their counsel.

Teancum's bold javelin strategy reminded me of an old joke advising prospective Olympic athletes to avoid trying out for Javelin catcher!

Grampa's, too can benefit from this sometimes' funny advice.

Javelin catching is all too common for Grampas who mean well and get involved a bit too deeply in situations they might better avoid.

Loaning money is one good example, Never do it.  If you can afford it make a gift of the cash.

Never co-sign a note.  How many loving relationships have been soured by well meaning relatives on both sides of a financial situation gone South.  In our own far flung family, a little couple of parents have finally suffered the last gasp of a couple of old cars.  Well meaning siblings have arrnaged for a good used car--but the poor little parents want the cash instead.   A good gesture gone sideways.  Haven't heard how that worked out--but there's bound to be hurt feelers!

Baby sitting can turn into a mess quickly--as willing gramparents sign on to take care of junior and sissy while mom and dad both work.  The mess can start when more is expected that aged gramparents can possibly do-- too much time, no compensation, and worse, no appreciation.  On the other side of that coin lurk young parents who just don't want Grampa and Gramma to have ANYTHING to do with junior and sissy.  Oops!

Elder Jeffery R. Holland taught that, "Gramparents should be involved with their gramchildren when the parents allow it."   Unless both parents are permanently absent from the scene, Gramparents have no legal rights.  Could turn touchy, Javelin Catchers!

Relationships turn on sometimes messy emotions, too much communication or more likely too little!  Tread lightly, dear friend.

My favorite remedies involve equal parts of the following:

1.  Talk everything over with Gramma.  It's essential to have another opinion when the situation can go so wrong so quickly.

2.  Rehearse your next few conversations with the chillins involved with one another.  Weigh every word  carefully, and talk about the effect of the conversation.  Plan on a calm, easy, relaxed discussion where interruptions and distracts are warmly "dealt with"  This may mean the little ones may not be present while the adults sort out things.

3.  Always speak the truth with kindness and love.  Never lie--no, not even one of those little while lies.  Such things always end biting everyone "below" if you catch my drift.  The foreign service is filled with really smart people who know how to tell the truth with enough tinge of misdirection so that statesmanship is served.  Be wise, compromise.  You know how to do this.  It's just like explaining about Santa Claus-- Just tell them that he plays piano and writes this Blog in the off season!

You likely have come up with some wonderful suggestions that apply.   Send them off to grampaintraining@gmail.com. I'd love to share with our growing community of Grampas in Training.

Finally, I'm not suggesting that you avoid sporting goods stores that sell javelins, but it may make sense to avoid highschool and college track and field practice areas and the spring and summer meets where even the most well intentioned fan is in danger of ---well you know!   Likely'll never happen! lol   On We Go LAUGHING! JRH

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