Do you want to realize how little you really know about your children’s lives? Sit down a bunch of grown siblings, and their parents, and open the photo album (or show some family pictures in a slide show.) I’ve done this with my siblings, and with my older children. The results are amazing……..
….. For example, I remember until today how I slaved every afternoon with a child over their first grade notebooks, helping them find “good” words for each letter of the alphabet, pictures to match, etc. The girl in question, now an adult, had absolutely NO RECOLLECTION of my faithful help.
….. Imagine my horror as I overheard three siblings talking about the teens who accosted them every day on the way home from school for a month. I had been blissfully unaware of any incident like this.
….. Listen to siblings and parents talking about a shared trip. Yes, there will be things that they all remember, but many times you would think that they are talking about completely different excursions.
The lesson here is, of course, to keep our eyes and ears open. Try to imagine how your child is viewing the experiences you are sharing. And pray that you catch any important information.
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An added advantage is that you can see your siblings/children differently as you see what was/is important enough to them to note. I always knew that my older brother is more intelligent than me, but I had more of an inkling of HOW big the difference was as he rattled off dates and statistics for all our former family trips…..LOL, as he was gathering statistics I was writing poetry and discovering G-d in the wonder of the natural world.
[Picture: the "Keyhole", Longs Peak. I remember vividly the keyhole. I also remember one snowy ascent of Longs Peak that we had to abort because of snow. But it wasn't aborted before transversing the narrow path -just past the keyhole- with a shear drop off at the side. I wore holes in the fingertips of my gloves from holding the stones litterly for dear life. I am sure my Dad had no inkling how petrified I was, while simultaneously loving the chance to go up Longs again.(I had climbed Longs previously, at a young age. What age? I don't know. Ask my brother.....)]