Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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September 11, 2001 - New York City Twin Towers If you have grandchildren under the age of 10, how do you explain 9/11 to them? This is the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross,who wrote the book, “On Death and Dying,”  in 1969, identified five stages of grief after interviewing 500 people who were dying. 1. Denial – I don’t believe this is happening. 2. Anger – It’s not fair. 3. Bargaining – What can I do to stop this? 4. Depression – Why bother to do anything? 5. Acceptance – I am going to get ready. While her original intent was to... (Read More ...)

The 3rd Infantry Unfurls a Flag at the Pentagon During Rescue and Recovery Efforts after the 9/11 Attacks My sister-in-law called and told me to turn on the television. It was September 11. The year was 2001. Then she asked if my husband, her brother, still worked at the Pentagon. It had been a year since he last worked there, I told her. Then, with the rest of the nation, I watched. I had never seen newscasters mute. They said nothing as we saw the towers fall. All of us were thinking the same thing. What about the people inside? Then, I saw the dots of light wink out on a map showing where... (Read More ...)

The New York Times logo I met a man about six months ago who was playing two games of online Scrabble, one with a friend, one with his Mom. Recent articles have been highlighting the fact that grandparents and grandchildren are now connecting through electronic devices far beyond Skype, the long-distance phone service on your computer, and video chat we started seeing a few years ago, or even the rotating digital photo frames that show changing photos of the grandchildren. The Wall Street Journal, in a May 9, 2011 article,  “OMG! My Grandparents R My BFF!”listed some of the many... (Read More ...)

Understanding, mural by Robert Lewis Reid Twice in the last six months, I have been told about grandmothers whose grandchildren called them ugly names. I recently attended a seminar about learning organizations. It is a management trend to try to encourage employees to build learning into their day, continually improving the company’s products and processes as they see what works and what doesn’t. With the seminar leader’s review of B.F. Skinner’s techniques for behavior modification, I suddenly understood something I had been observing in young parents’ parenting styles. They were... (Read More ...)

SIDS Rate and Back Sleeping   Swedish Hospitals, in Seattle, Washington, leads off the description of their Grandparenting Class with “Babies haven’t changed, but what we know about them has changed.” I have talked to a couple of grandmas recently who went to Grandparenting class in anticipation of becoming a grandmother. Another grandmother I know subscribed to Parenting magazine to learn what parenting is like today, compared to when we raised our children thirty or forty years ago. I just read a recent book about ovarian cancer, in which talcum powder is a suspected risk factor,... (Read More ...)

Goldie Hawn in Sweden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)   A Mommy Blogger, Sierra,  recently wrote about the phenomenon reported in the The New York Times that Boomer women, who are now starting to become grandmothers, do not like the name, “Grandma.” To us, it carries the images we have in our heads of our own grandmothers – old. A friend’s nicknaming me Glam-ma spawned a book about this disconnect between our mental images and reality and traditional roles, “Who Gets to Name Grandma?” which you can buy if you click here. In The New York Times article it was reported that Goldie Hawn’s... (Read More ...)

Christmas in Ohio 1930 with Grandparents Do You Want a Traditional Grandma Name? I fully understand author Lauren Charpio’s parents’ thinking when they didn’t want to be called the traditional names of Grandma and Grandpa. In my own book, Who Gets to Name Grandma? I included stories ranging from a dyslexic child’s naming her grandmother Mugga, to a friend who called her grandma Rick-Rick because she smoked, to a friend of mine who adopted the name G-Mom, as hip and smart. Boomer grandparents-to-be, author Chapio’s parents wanted names more suitable for their self-image. How... (Read More ...)

Recently, I went on a hike with my grandchildren. The Fells, outside Boston, is a 2500-acre nature preserve filled with blaze-marked hiking trails. The Fells, Boston, MA This is the second time we’ve been, the first time with grandchildren. Other hikers were friendly, pointing the way when we got off the path or lost our way back to our car. One suggested we might want to take a five-minute detour, to see the 30 turtles lined up on a log in a near-by pond. He was right. And, that is where we had lunch, on a rock outcrop, surrounded by the deep quiet of woods, overlooking the turtles, enjoying... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia I don’t remember having any trouble keeping up with my children when they were young. If their energy outpaced mine, I just slowed them down with orders to stop talking so loud, being so rambunctious, or running around, so I could take a breath. But, my grandchildren are not afraid of me. I know this is my fault. I have always relished the idea of being able to spoil them, just a little, I thought. I didn’t want to make the transition back home too hard, or their parents, by contrast, too strict. But, setting aside my writing for the occasional weeks or overnights when... (Read More ...)

How to Write a Thank You Note Author John Kralik tells the story of his grandfather, as inspiration for his recent book, 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life. When he was a boy, his grandfather gave him a silver dollar and said if he wrote him a thank you note, he would give him another. He would give him one every time he wrote a thank you note. He only wrote one. A well-crafted, sincere thank you note is notable for its rarity in our lives. I have always received thank you notes for wedding and graduation presents from our well-behaved nieces and nephews... (Read More ...)