To Grandmother's house we go—November 23, 2012
Evidence suggests the most traveled day of the holiday period - and of the entire year - is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. For many, visits to grandmother’s house are followed by hurried and sometimes lengthy trips home.
Often, however, grandparents themselves are the visitors; sometimes one, two or more sets of grandparents visit during the holiday. So how is a young child to distinguish between them all? Time to consult “The Modern Grandparent’s Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to the New Rules of Grandparenting” by Georgia Witkin, senior editor of grandparents.com. Look in the chapter titled “What’s in a name” for lists of grandma and grandpa nicknames. Traditional names include Gram and Gramps, but you may want to consider Mamabear and Grumpy from the playful names list. Don’t overlook trendy names like Othermother and Grandude. Also included are chapters such as Grandparent Rivalry, Home Alone…with the Grandkids and Hidden Grandparenting Stresses.
Next, chill out with “If I Knew it Was Going to be This Much Fun, I Would Have Become a Grandparent First” by Willard Scott and friends. Nice short essays by over 100 famous grandparents like George H. W. Bush, Alan Dershowitz and Nancy Sinatra recount humorous and heartwarming stories.
June Cerza Kolf had worked years as a grief counselor and with terminally ill patients before she wrote “Grandmas’ Tears: Comfort for Grieving Grandparents.” The loss of a grandchild is truly like none other, Kolf finds, since the love for a grandchild is unlike any other. We forget that they too are trying to survive, often with little or no support of their own.
If visits to the grandkids are limited by distance, health or other factors you’ll want to check out “The Long Distance Grandmother” by Selma Wasserman, subtitled “How to Stay Close to Distant Grandchildren.” No doubt your grandchild has received the gift of books. What’s more fun than visiting the local library or the bookstore’s children’s book section? But Wassermann has a great suggestion. Consider writing a memory book for your grandchild. She gets you seriously motivated, then gets you started with great suggestions and how-to’s. Your book could recount a recent shared experience or it might be a story from your youth, like “My Favorite Christmas Memory.”
“The Joyous Gift of Grandparents” published by New Leaf Press contains photos and quotations like this from Mike Krzyzewski - “It’s funny what happens when you become a grandparent. You start to act all goofy and do things you never thought you’d do. It’s terrific.”
Keep up with technology - attend one of HPL’s computer classes. Topics range from “Computer Comfort” and “Internet Basics” (10-Noon Nov 27) to “Facebook for Beginners.” Find the current class topics and schedule on the HPL website under “Events and Programs” or pick up a flyer when you’re at the library.