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Editorial: We celebrate with grandparents on their special day
About politics and other thingsSeptember 11, 2013 | 1,538 views | 2 comments
Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.
-- Alex Haley
Grandparents have a special place in society -- and in our hearts. I love being a grandparent. It’s one of those special times in life that allows you to enjoy the grandkids, spoil them, fill them with sugar, and then send them back home to their parents. But that’s only half the story.
Whether you call them Nana and Popo, Meemee and PawPaw, Meemaw and Pappy, Grannie and Gramps, Oma and Opa, or just Grandma and Grandpa, we recognize and celebrate our grandparents.
There are dozens of special titles bestowed upon grandparents, although when we were growing up, ours were simply Gramma and Grampa. I’m not sure if that indicates our lack of imagination or if this is just a trend that began more recently. I haven’t done any research to find out how we have arrived at these endearing terms; I’m just speculating.
Some monikers, I’m sure, arrive by happenstance when the first grandchild attempts to pronounce their name in baby talk. Grandma comes out to be “Amaw” and Grandpa comes out more like “Gampy.” The monikers stick.
Some new grandparents demand special titles because they are far too young and far too cool to be considered grandparents! Somehow it sounds better to their delicate ears if they are called by some cute and clever nickname instead of being called Grandma and Grandpa.
There can also be a practical reason for coming up with special names for grandparents, since there are multiple sets of grandparents.
We weren’t that imaginative, though. Ours were simply Gram-ma and Grampa Hons and Gramma and Grampa Malik. Our great- grandparents (the ones we knew) were Gramma and Grampa Jauer and Gramma and Grampa Ulrich.
Grandparents are just people, so their personalities run the gamut. There are doting grandparents and others who are disconnected. For the disconnected, they don’t know what they are missing.
There also are grandparents who never get to see their grandchildren, either because of distance or legal issues. There are other grandparents who have had to become parents to their own grandchildren.
For so many grandparents, life is not a fairy tale. Death, divorce, or other problems may suddenly land them again in the role of parents. Grandparents have always stepped up to take care of their grandchildren when the need was there, but there seem to be even more grandparents who are assuming the role of parenting their grandchildren.
In a time when adult children can remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and more adult children are moving back home, statistics show that 7.7 million children now live in a household with at least one grandparent.
This can be a good thing, but it also can be a particularly challenging situation. At a time when some couples are ready to retire and are dreaming of travel and a life less hectic, they again have the responsibility of shopping for back-to-school clothes, helping with homework, and so much more. Adults who are older and assume the parenting role are to be greatly admired.
I love being a grandparent, but I also appreciate the fact that my grandkids have parents. I definitely believe there is good reason that young people are parents.
Being a parent is a 24/7 job that never goes away; however, at some point, it usually morphs into being grandparents. Blessed are those grandparents who have, for whatever reason, assumed the dual role of parenting their grandkids.
The special day for celebrating all grandparents was Sunday, Sept. 8, but I think every day should be Grandparents Day.
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