Posted by: smilecoach | July 17, 2008

Hey Grandpa can we____?

I love the summer time.  I especially love summer weekends at our home in Michigan when kids and grandkids visit for some fun in the sun.  This past weekend my youngest son, his wife and two children visited with us for three days.  The grandkids are a five year old boy and a seven year old girl.  And even if I weren’t their grandfather, I would say they are great kids. 


It was a wonderful weekend that was filled with questions that all began with “Grandpa can we….”.  It was:
Grandpa can we go fishing?

Grandpa can we go in the kayak?

Grandpa can I row the kayak ?

Grandpa can we go in the paddle boat?

Grandpa can we shoot the BB gun?

Grandpa can we go to the beach?

Grandpa can we roast marshmallows?

Grandpa can we get in the hot tub?


And the list goes on. 


What a blessing it is to watch and participate in the excitement of children exploring the world.  For me that is one of the greatest gifts God has given me.  I love the adventure of seeking out new things in life and to be able to do that with my grandkids, brings a smile to my heart.  Being in the kayak with my 5-year old grandson as he paddled it for the first time by himself was pure joy.  Of course in turning the paddling completely over to him, I had to deal with my control issues about going in a straight line as we zigzagged across the pond.  Giving up the control was worth it to see the sense of accomplishment and joy on his face as we wondered around the pond. 


Throughout the weekend I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be wonderful if as adults we could remember to have fun and explore the way we did when we were kids.  In my experience as a coach, when my clients asked themselves the adult version of “Grandpa can I ____?” the answer is “No you can’t, you have too much to do to have fun.”  


If we seldom experience a ‘Grandpa can we __ weekend’ where the intent is to have fun and explore new things, life becomes boring and our zest for living diminishes. 


I would like to suggest that you schedule a ‘Grandpa can we__?’ weekend, where learning and fun are the focus.  Pretend like you are a kid, allow your heart to sing and notice what happens to your energy the following week.  And if you can’t think of place to go to do it, you are invited to visit us in Michigan.  This is the perfect place to rediscover the ‘kid’ in you.   



  1. What perfect timing this was for me. When is the mallander retreat center open for visits?
    I have a “hey honey, let’s have fun w/out kids” weekend starting tomorrow, and a “hey Mom and Dad” one for next weekend. I am finally taking all the sage advise you have been giving me. I will let you know how much fun we had.
    Best of all, i am going camping w/one on my best friends w/out kids or spouse and be taken care of by her and her honey.
    I bet i will have lots to tell you about after it all happens.
    Thank you for prodding me these past few years. I am slow learner but i am getting it!!!

  2. Grandpa….I love ya!!!! Your words and loving energy bring a smile to my face. You made me giggle. By the way….Caleb, Larry and I are off to have a “grandpa can we?” weekend, and Jamie and I just finished one. Whoo hoo!!!!

    Loved connecting with you last week. We absolutely rock when we’re in conversation….yes?!?

  3. Yeah Mary and Tuck!!! I am glad you have wonderful weekends coming up. The Mallinder retreat center is always open. What a delight it is to have high energy, seeking friends. Thanks for being part of my journey.

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