The history and future of America on Independence Day, reflected in family.

We are very rich people as we have eight healthy grandchildren.   When we scan the years of family and friends, we become aware that several of our couple friends have no grand children, and for various reasons of choice or fate, will never have any.  Our lives are so enriched by watching our grandchildren grow, that we cannot help but feel sorry for what they miss.

Our son, Bill, and his family arrived July 4th from Manhattan Beach, California.  He is an attorney and his wife Glenda, a Senior Vice President at BCBG fashions.  They have three children, 15, 13, 11.  We have not seen them for two years and suddenly, Wyatt is taller than I, Josie is as tall as I, and Ethan is well on his way to topping grandma.  

Our daughter's two kids, Sarah and Tom live in Glendale, California.  Chrlisti is a V.P. at Universal Studios, and husband Jim is employed at Home Depot.  Their eldest, Sarah, just graduated from high school and will be attending Concordia College in Moorhead.  Tom will be a senior this fall.  They have spent most summers with us, enjoying fishing and the freedom and safety of North Dakota, and attending International Music Camp.

Jim and wife, Erin, live just two blocks away, so we have had the pleasure of sharing in the lives of Brantley and Olivia since they were born, and with Kayla since she was a little girl.  

Each grandchild is an individual with his/her own talents, successes, foibles, goals, and dreams.  This morning I was telling Josie of the history of my family and of Grandpa's family in the US and in ND.  This is the purpose of grandparents, isnt it?  The transmission of genes, of family stories, of family values?  How intersting it is to see the traits and talents transmitted into the future---who inherited the love of animals, the talent for music or writing, the height or body type or hair color, even the temperament or stamina or the way they sit.  Son Bill drives like my father did, and Jim sits like my grandfather did and has the same love of trees and wood.  

All of our children and their children inherited a sense of Independence. Hah!--some might see the same characteristic as stubborn,  I choose to see it as inquiring, as refusing to knuckle under to external demands because they are strong inside. These are descendents of ancestors who came to a new land for religious freedom and for opportunity to make their own way and to think their own thoughts.  These are contemporary people with a strong sense of self, of "do-it-yourself" attitudes, of justice.  It is genetic or the passing of family lore and values?  This Independence Day we celebrate the family that built America in the past, and that will build the future of America--the healthy, independent, intelligent grandchildren.