At the risk of alienating a few readers, my guess is most of you are grandparents. If not, you know someone who is. The annual day to honor you esteemed baby boomers and older adults is just around the corner: Grandparents Day is celebrated this year on Sunday, September 13. And with the ideal official flower, the lovely forget-me-not, this commemoration has been a national holiday since 1978.
But my guess is, other than Hallmark, this “holiday” is seldom recognized. And with the current health crisis and social distancing, probably fewer than usual family get-togethers will be planned to honor grandmother and grandfather.
Grandparenting, in perspective:
We are now being inaugurated into this special time of life at about age 50, slightly older than a few years ago. But with good nutrition, medical care, and technology, we’re living longer and can expect to have many years to share precious time with and spend money on our grandchildren.
Make the best of Grandparents Day 2020:
I don’t have a lot of memories of my own grandparents, as they had all passed away early in my elementary years. So against the backdrop of COVID-19, and with the hope that your grandchildren will hold cherished memories of their time with you, here are a few ideas for you to reach out and spark your own online or (if you’re lucky) in-person celebrations.
1) If you still live in the general vicinity, take a drive with the kiddos to share the neighborhood where you grew up. Is the elementary school still there? Your favorite store or restaurant? Perhaps even your childhood home? Share memories of walking through the neighborhood to play with your pals.
2) Describe your favorite outdoor activities. Your grandkids probably never pictured you playing kickball, conquering hopscotch, shooting hoops. Where did you play, with whom, how good were you?
3) With all the talk about coronavirus, relate your own experience with childhood ailments. Do you remember standing in line to get your polio vaccination, the miserable itchiness of chicken pox, eating popsicles after getting your tonsils removed? Put kids’ fears in perspective—you actually survived your childhood, back in the last century.
4) Bring back an era they will never experience—talk about opening the door early in the morning to fetch the milk bottles, the first color TV shows you watched, the excitement of getting up early in the morning to witness the pioneering rocket launches from Cape Canaveral.
5) Share your childhood dreams. Mine was to become an Army nurse (I became a “civilian” dietitian instead). My sister’s was to be a teacher (she still is one). Did you hope to become a millionaire, the president, a movie or rock star?
For ideas to add even more healthy, vibrant years to your life, reach out to me.