The Baker family came last night for their annual visit.
If you recall, this is the family of seven with the mother who claims the sign of a happy childhood is dirty children. This family–with no television or video games–has instead developed musical abilities, a deep love of reading, excellent conversational skills, and even entrepreneurial adventures. From afar, the Bakers have cheered the Neighborhood Fitness Group by supplying our beloved double-dutch jump ropes.
Every time they visit, they delight us with musical performances (even the dad plays riotous piano!), rewarding conversation, literary insights, and wisdom–from the high schooler right down to the second-grader! Just like always, the older daughters want to spend time with me and their mother. They give me all sorts of advice about managing middle school.
Last year, I listened to how the mother talked to her teenage children and said, “I just love to be with you.” During that visit, I learned the importance of telling my daughters over and over that I love to be with them.
This time, I ask the oldest daughter what communicates the most love to her from her parents. She says, “I love it when my dad asks how he can help me.”
How can I help you today? What a beautiful question for parents to ask! What a great question to ask spouses, too.
I tuck the question away for later with the other bit of advice I learn from the mom:
Earlier in the evening, the mother reminds me that people like to feel like they’re experts. She says,”I love to ask others to tell me everything they know about something. I also don’t assume I know more than they do about anything.”
Tell me what you know about. . .
I file this into my list of great conversation starters for both children and adults. So often we want to display our own knowledge instead of genuinely wanting to learn from others.
I love it when the Bakers visit!
Here’s a photo of our after dinner walk in the woods. (Some children aren’t pictured because they’ve run ahead!)