“Dates with Grandpa and Grandma,” Ensign, Jan. 1990, 74
We have grandchildren who live out of state whom we can visit only once every year or two. As we prayed about how to make our limited time with them more meaningful, we came up with the following idea.
About a month before our visit, we wrote to the family and told them that we wanted to have a “date” with each grandchild. We gave them a price limit that would cover an activity and food. Our son and daughter-in-law caught the spirit of what we were trying to do and held a family council during which their seven sons made lists of possible places they might like us to take them. The family discussed advantages and disadvantages of each, then the children selected the places that they felt they would most enjoy.
When we arrived, the family had a busy schedule planned for us. Our days were filled with fun as we took one grandchild on his date in the morning, then another in the afternoon. Surprisingly, each child selected a different attraction. From goofy golf and pizza to a movie and a smorgasbord, from a children’s museum and hamburgers to an exotic playground and french fries, each place had its own appeal.
We took several photos while we were on each date. After we returned home and had the film developed, we wrote each grandchild an individual letter, expressing our love for him and the joy we had felt at being with him. We also enclosed a photo or two.
The benefits of this activity were many. Each child had one-on-one time with us and felt that he was important to us. Each was able to do something out of the ordinary that he really wanted to do. The children learned principles of budgeting and decision-making. And we got better acquainted with the boys as individuals.—Edith W. Gibbons, Mesa, Arizona