Times have changed but they will never be forgotten. With nostalgia for the good old days when my family lived close to one another, I jotted down an important childhood memory. Why important? Because it showed and taught me how a family should interact. I will never be able to follow in the role of my grandmother, the Queen Bee, because my grandchildren live long distances away. They range from Texas, New York, California, to Arizona. The memory is for me and to this day I feel a joyfulness when I think back in time.
I know that many of you are in the same boat. Our family floats here and there adrift, without an anchor. I dare say that many young and older lives would turn out differently if there had been the opportunity for continuous close family bonding.
Since becoming a grandmother, I have had a love-hate relationship with the inventors of the airplane, Wilbur and Orville Wright. Their invention opened the window of the world and nourished my wanderlust but closed the most important window; family life.
It is painful not to be able to be the Queen Bee Grandmother, the matriarch of my family. I would give anything ( almost) to be able to run over to their house and take them for a burger and fries or a pair of Levis…all on the spur of the moment. A grandmother has so much to pass on to her grands and grandchildren have so much to give back.
MEMORIES OF FAMILY
In Michigan City, Indiana, on Lake Michigan, there is a white-framed house with green shutters and a white picket fence. It is my grandmother and grandfather’s family beach home. I have so many happy memories of that house. I think of my grandmother’s laugh, seeing delicious fresh ears of corn simmering in the large pot on top of her stove. Of building sandcastles on the water’s shore with my cousins in the summer. And waiting for my grandmother to come down to the beach with baskets of food for lunch.
Our family stayed together because we spent time together. My grandmother loved being a grandmother. She was the glue that held our family together.
Isn’t that true of so many families, darling? How important it is for those of us who are grandmothers to remember that we are often the glue? That we help teach our children and grandchildren what it means to stick together through thick and thin. Isn’t that what family is all about?
My book, Stories for my Grandchild, is the perfect way to share our lessons and our legacies with our Grands and — one day — their Grands. The book is a keepsake journal of YOUR life, your values, and your family history. Of your wisdom and dreams for your Grands that you will pen in your own words. To be a gift to your Grands as a ‘keeper,’ a lifetime heirloom.
And while my book is meant to be a forever keepsake, we can not wait to make a difference in the lives of our Grands. Every day, in so many ways, we must embrace the opportunity we have to make an impact on our Grands, to make an impression.
We don’t want to pass up this fleeting opportunity to create memories that will last many lifetimes. Memories like the ones I shared above.
Surprising Facts About Grandparents
On that note, a few years ago, I did some research. I found these facts about being a grandparent, via Considerable.com. They have been shared before but are so worth re-sharing. I found them equally surprising, thrilling, and satisfying. Did you know…
1. Grandparents love being grandparents! So what else is new?! 90% of us talk about our grandchildren to just about everyone! 72% think being a grandparent is the single most important role in their lives. (That’s one statistic that I just adore!)
2. We are younger than before. 60% of us are baby boomer grandparents! Or, as I like to say, “bloomers” not boomers.
3. Grandparents are active. 43% exercise and play sports. 28% volunteer on a regular basis.
4. A lot of grandparents are computer literate. 75% of us are online. 70% of us use search engines to find information. 63% shop online and 30% instant message!
8. We’re not necessarily sitting on a porch somewhere in a rocking chair! Some of us get inked. Namely, 10% of grandparents surveyed have a tattoo. 17% have attended a rally, and 15% have demonstrated. 7% have used recreational drugs and 2% skydive.
9. We have money! We control 75% of the wealth in America. Our average net worth is over $250,000. We spend $2 trillion every year on consumer goods and services. 55% of us have no mortgage.
11. Many grandparents support their adult children and grandchildren. We spend 52 billion every year on our grandchildren! We spend 32 billion on education. 62% of us provided financial support to our adult children and grandchildren in the last year. 70% on cash for day-to-day expenses, 40% on housing (mortgage or rent), 23% on daycare, and 21% on education.
12. We enjoy life and have fun! We spend 100 billion on entertainment and 77 billion each year on travel.
13. WE LOVE TO SPEND TIME WITH OUR GRANDCHILDREN. 60% of us live near our grandchildren. 46% wish they could live even closer. 70% see their grandchildren at least once a week. 66% travel with their grandchildren. 81% have their grandkids for part or all of their summer vacation. 72% of us take care of our grandchildren on a regular basis, and 13% are primary caregivers.
Take a Bow, Darling!
Many years have passed since I was that young child munching on my grandmother’s delicious sweet summer corn in her charming beach home. I am now a grandmother myself with 25 grandchildren in my blended family. And yet, in many ways, the role of the grandmother has not changed … we continue bestowing love and values to our Grands.
These days, I stay in touch with my grandchildren by text messaging, short videos, our home phone, and cells. And of course, Facetime! We visit. They visit. Even so it is not the same as having consistent relationships. We can be a Queen Bee grandmother from afar and do our best. Hopefully, we will ‘leave’ our grandchildren much in their heads!!
To sum it up, we are a very special group of women. Take a bow, darling!
Did you enjoy these facts about grandparents? Let’s discuss this in the comments at the bottom of this page.
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