Smiley Law Firm October 2019

October 2019

365 Canal Street, Suite 1680, New Orleans, LA 70130 • 504-894-9653 •

Luke and Yaya A Legacy of Kindness

This June, I talked about how my son Jude had turned another year older and expressed my gratitude that his grandpa, or “Poppy,” plays such a big role in his life. So, of course, with Luke turning a whopping 6 years old this month, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk about him and his Yaya. My mother-in-law is an incredible person who knows how to slow down and smell the roses. Yaya finds joy in the simple things in life, including reading, tending to her garden at the lake house, and riding her bike on the shoreline. So, it comes as no surprise that Yaya would form such a strong bond with creative, empathetic Luke. Now, Yaya loves all her grandkids with all her heart. Luke, Jude, and their cousins always have an incredible time when visiting her and Poppy. When they’re there, they can put as many scoops in their mesquite chocolate milk as they want and wake up to the smell of Yaya’s homemade French toast. At night, they all grab flashlights and squeeze into one queen bed, staying up way too late reading, talking, and laughing. But it’s unmistakable that Yaya and Luke are kindred spirits, sharing many of the same interests. Much like Jen, Yaya doesn’t like the kids to be glued to screens all the time, and Luke is more than happy to break away from the electronics and venture out into nature with her. The two plant sunflowers together, take sunset walks along the lakefront to the playground, and do just about every other outdoor activity they can think up. While indoors, the two let their imaginations run wild. They’ll play in the “Love Cafe,” a little pretend kitchen Poppy and Yaya have set up in their house, pretending to be chefs. I’ll never get tired of seeing the joy on both their faces as they cook up their next imaginary meal. Yaya also has a little classroom set up with a chalkboard and bingo machine, where Luke loves to play school — with Yaya as the teacher, of course. This special bond between them has been magical to watch over the years. Believe it or not, it started when Luke was just a toddler.

see the information “clicking” in his eyes. The two have been nearly inseparable ever since and enjoy each other’s witty, creative spirit.

Both Yaya and Poppy have gone above and beyond for their grandkids; I’ve often wondered how they do it. Talking with my mother-in-law about how she opens her home and heart up to our boys really put things into perspective for me. More than anything, she wants our kids to have fond memories at that lake house and moments they can look back on throughout their lives whenever they need to feel a little joy. Watching Luke become the clever, caring young man he is, I can say he’s gotten more than just memories from his Yaya. He’s following her inspiring example.

-Seth Smiley

When he was 2 years old, Yaya would tell us that Luke was “extra.” She was blown away by his vocabulary at that age and swore she could

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