Submitted Date 06/05/2019

Tonight my grandson spent the night. He is nearing his 14th birthday and of late confrontation has most often marked our interaction. His estimaton of himself and his adolescent opinions have become elevated in a typically teenage manner. As we were tired tonight, it was with some trepidation that we allowed him to come over this evening.

The evening started in the new normal manner – he grabbed an iPad and used his air pods to isolate and view videos. We were in the living room together in body, but not together at all. My wife and I finished watching a news show, then changed the channel to a football game.

In time, we retired to the bedroom, planning to wind down before bed. He came in to ask us something and in short order we began discussing something he liked – the movie, Venom. As he described the plotline (neither my wife nor I have seen the movie), he lit up. We kept asking questions and he kept describing details in a manner we've not recently seen.

Transitioning into talking about when he was a little boy, my wife opened with a memory of him playing in the rain as a toddler. As we began sharing common memories, he became even more animated, grinning at the pleasure they brought.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the immediate disagreements that we forget to share the joys which bind us together. Perhaps that is a key to weathering difficult emotional times – finding a way to focus on what we have in common. In the heated political climate of today, we would do well to remember that.

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