The Joy of Grandparenting
Posted: August 14, 2020
The ultimate win-win…
Editor's note: We are pleased to introduce Barbara Greenleaf as our newest contributor—after having been introduced to her ourselves through her monthly email newsletter, "From the Desk of Barbara Greenleaf." What could be a more appropriate way to start than with this celebration of grandparenting?
Grandparenting is healthy for us. Being in touch with the
younger generation literally beefs up the immune system.
-Lillian Carson, The Essential Grandparent
Some of the issues that arise for today’s grandparents are difficult, but, thankfully, most are joyous. National Grandparents Day is always celebrated on the Sunday after Labor Day, but as far as I’m concerned every day is Grandparents Day.
As I was growing up my paternal grandparents were a big part of my life. I lived across the street from them until I was seven years old and spent a lot of time at their house even after we moved away. The benefits of this experience were incalculable and lasted a lifetime. My grandparents were from the old country, which gave me the opportunity to see people drinking tea through a sugar cube clamped between front teeth, hear songs of the Russian army, learn knitting and sewing, and observe how a fig tree is kept alive through a harsh New York winter.
Professionally, being close to my grandparents resulted in my first book, America Fever: The Story of American Immigration. Personally, it always made me comfortable with older people and fully accepting of the fact that one day I would become an older person, too. Above all, my grandparents’ unconditional love made me feel valued, embedded, secure. When I became a grandparent myself, I felt the joy of giving the same “love without baggage” to my children’s children or, as my grandfather-the-businessman called them, “interest on interest.”
Search all articles byBarbara is the author of eight books, including two of particular interest to seniors. She has given us permission to use material from her newsletter, "From the Desk of Barbara Greenleaf," to which you can subscribe on her website. • Author bio (website*) • E-mail the author (moc.faelneergarabrab@arabrab*) • Author's website (personal or primary**)
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