Yesterday was Grandparents’s Day. In 1978 President Carter made the proclamation that the first Sunday after Labor Day would be set aside to honor our grandparents, encouraged by a West Virginia woman who wanted to take up the cause of the lonely elderly men and women she saw in nursing homes.
There is often a disconnect between the younger and the older generations; it can be hard for our digitally-connected children to find a way to connect with their grandparents. With families scattered to all corners of the earth, the close connections that families once shared are not as common in our modern times. And even close-quartered families may not always connect in a meaningful way, when day-to-day responsibilities get in the way of communication.
Grandparents and grandchildren may not think that there is a lot to offer to one another beyond hugs and cookies. But oh, what a mistake that is!
Children need to know that their grandparents, though they grew up in those dark ages before the internet, have stories and adventures that are beyond belief. And grandparents don’t always realize how important it is to share those adventures.
In the book The Frank Show by David Mackintosh ($17, www.abramsbooks.com), a young boy has show and tell this week, and he’s supposed to bring a member of his family. Unfortunately, the only member available is Grandpa Frank. Grumpy, curmudgeonly Grandpa Frank who always gets his haircut on the same day, who doesn’t like anything newfangled.
Oh, he’s worried. How can Grandpa Frank stand up next to the dad who works at the potato chip factory or the musician uncle or the aunt who swam the English Channel? But Grandpa Frank surprises his grandson in the end.
This story is a great reminder of the importance of our stories and why we need to keep the generations connected.